This is probably my favourite quote from the TED talk, in which Mechai Viravaidya discusses how a campaign promoting family planning and safe sex has helped the people of Thailand
This campaign is a great example of effective science communication. The Thai community was the basis of change and through the community and through people interacting and talking was the message of safe sex and importance of family planning spread. Through this action, the population growth rate was dramatically decreased from 3.3% to 0.5%. Millions of lives were saved by education about the risks of HIV/AIDS
Part of what it made it so successful was engagement with the Thai people. It encouraged learning by directly interacting with people through activities and language. By talking about the issue and having condoms widely available, much was able to be achieved. Everybody was involved. The media, market workers, and even the police with a “Cops and Rubbers” campaign, became involved in spreading the massage.
As Mechai says in this video “We didn’t have a strong government we, didn’t have lots of doctors, but it’s everybody’s job to change attitude and behaviour.”
This is what promotion of scientific ideas should be about. It should be something that we do ourselves all the time, rather than waiting for the government or other organizations to start it for us. We are the mechanism for change.