An important responsibility for any scientist is sharing their passion for their work through communicating its relevance to society. This means effectively communicating with other scientists within and outside their field of research, but also to the general public: the ultimate goal of course being to inform the public about important issues, complex problems and new discoveries. Scientists are well trained in their highly specialized fields of research and are excellent at communicating with other experts, whether it be publishing research in peer- reviewed journals or presenting at scientific conferences. Yet, many researchers never get proper training on how to convey complex information to the public. Thus, researchers make the frequent mistake of ‘dumbing’ down their research instead of making it more concise.
Communicating complex science to the public is difficult. Science communication requires deliberate practice and careful attention to language (i.e., avoiding discipline-specific scientific jargon). With this journal, we hope to train undergraduate students on proper science communication, while training graduate students on how to review such articles.
Concordia’s Journal of Accessible Psychology is a student-run science communication journal published annually by Concordia University’s Psychology Department. The journal’s mission is twofold. First, we aim to teach undergraduate students about science communication by giving them the opportunity to write about their own psychological findings. Second, we aim to train graduate students on the same topic, while giving them experience with the review process. Overall, our mission is to produce high quality research that is accessible and engaging for academics and the public alike.
Submitted articles take the form of a science communication articles aimed at explaining current research findings coming from the many psychology laboratories at Concordia which span areas such as health, behavioral, clinical, developmental psychology and neuroscience. All articles published in Concordia’s Journal of Accessible Psychology are subject to peer review by a team of graduate students and trained public scholars supervised by professors from the department.