Jim Plante has worked to push genetic information to new levels of accessibility. He has dedicated his efforts in bringing this technology to the masses in a productive way. It all begins with the bridge of general mass consumer science and detailed analytical science for very small and niche audiences.
The Communication Gap, from the Public to the Scientific Community
The divide seems huge. What it does is it creates a gulf between what the general consumer receives and what the scientific community is putting out. This has always been a problem, but the Internet has both hurt and helped it.
It is easier than ever before to find information, and people nowadays have an overwhelming influx of data to sift through if they choose. Unfortunately, it also makes it a lot easier to get blatantly wrong information. The explosion of what is deemed “fake media” is only one piece of this exasperating problem.
Fighting Against Buzz-worthy Headlines
It leaves the scientific community in this communication divide. The scientific community makes strides in many areas, but they are not often received to the general public. Of course, the fact that it is not easy to distill detailed and often obtuse scientific information to a nice headline has a lot to do with it. Making buzz-worthy headlines out of seismic data expeditions can b e crippling, as well as a gross oversimplification. It is why some headlines such as “coffee will cause cancer” seem legitimate. There were studies. There were also many studies that explore the exact opposite all while realizing that the source of the study is the most elemental part of it all.
Plante sees the opportunity to get the right information to the public in the right way. He stresses keeping the information clear but also authoritarian. The studies have to be excellent and rich and not filled with media-based ulterior motives. The genetic company, Pathway Genomics, was a studious step towards bridging this communication gap under the leadership of Mr. Plante. He also supports and is a founder of the Foundation for Kidney Transplant Research, a local non-profit. The goal is to offer genetic information, in all its richness and wonder, in a clear way to the general public- without distorting the view or dumbing down the contents.
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