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The Need for Science Advocacy - Webinar Recap

Posted on Monday, May 4, 2020

Over 120 people from around the country registered for ARCS Foundation, Minnesota Chapter’s webinar on “The Need for Science Advocacy.” We had the great privilege of hearing Jayshree Seth  present the provocative findings of 3M’s State of Science Index, a multi-year global survey of attitudes about science. This was followed by audience questions and a panel discussion of science advocacy experiences from Jayshree, Professor Anja Bielinsky, and 3 ARCS Minnesota Scholars.

To relive the experience, check out this video recording of the presentation, the Q&A and panel discussion.

Here is a quick recap of some of the great insights from our speakers:

  • The role of science is more important now than ever… Yet nearly 40% of people think that if science didn’t exist their lives would be no different…The good news is that 87% believe we need science to solve the world’s biggest problems, but only 20% said they would stand up for science when debating its merits with others
  • The ABC’s of science advocacy are:
    • Awareness and Appreciation for science and the role it plays – in our daily lives;
    • Breaking down Barriers – not just for geniuses or a gender, and one can have a satisfying science careers;
    • Context, Communication, & Championing – what scientists do and how science solves problems.”
    ​​Jayshree Seth, 3M Chief Science Advocate
  • The main thing you need to be a scientist is to be curious and to be persistent. If you have a question, try to answer it, use google, textbooks, …whatever you can get your hands on. You don’t need to be a super-genius; you just need to care about something enough to be curious about it.
    Freddie Miller, ARCS Minnesota Scholar
  • There is no single identity for scientists. We span all races, genders, sexual identities, religions, and more, however to vastly different degrees at the current moment. But our diversity should be seen as an asset. We all, not just scientists, should work to break these barriers for younger students, and encourage them to pursue careers in STEM.”
    Lizzy Crist, ARCS Minnesota Scholar
  • Being a great scientist is also about making the people around you better. In addition to great research, it is about how you make others around you more scientifically literate, more enthusiastic about science, and help people interested in the field be better scientists.
    Matt Lawler, ARCS Minnesota Scholar

Let’s continue this conversation!

We hope you can attend future ARCS Minnesota events, as well as ARCS MN virtual happy hours and discussion groups. Everybody’s welcome! For information on upcoming events, contact us at

We are an all-volunteer non-profit looking for ways to advocate and advance science here in Minnesota and all over the U.S. We would appreciate your support. 100% of the money donated to the Minnesota Chapter Scholar fund goes to directly to students in science and engineering at the University of Minnesota. This is a link to our donation page.

If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at:  

Jayshree Seth, PhD - 3M Chief Science Advocate