Scientists as celebrities: Bad for science or good for society?

Lawrence M. Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The author explores the reasons why scientists such as Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and Neil deGrasse Tyson became celebrities, as well as sharing his own experience. He describes how public acclaim is often uncorrelated to scientific accomplishment and depends more on communication skills and personality traits. Nevertheless, he argues that the entire scientific community benefits when credible scientists gain a wider audience, and that celebrity is an opportunity that should not be squandered. Scientists who become recognizable have a chance and perhaps even a responsibility, which they have often exploited, to promote science literacy, combat scientific nonsense, motivate young people, and steer public policy discussions toward sound decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-32
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Albert einstein
  • Carl sagan
  • Celebrity
  • Neil deGrasse tyson
  • Richard feynman
  • Scientists
  • Stephen hawking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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