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ISSUE 4 - September 2008

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The Universe in a Single Atom: Communicating Astronomy through Metaphor (page 14)
Matthew McCool

First Paragraph
Effective science communication requires a return to the mind of a beginner. This is a critical detail to remember because astronomy is, above all else, a remarkably complex subject. Since astronomy is initially a study of the abstract, observations of mysterious targets in the archives of time, we slowly forget our initial self. Novelty gives way to expertise. The problem is that effective astronomy communication requires a kind of scientific translation, a process made possible only by understanding the novice stargazer. And one of the best ways to accomplish this goal is communicating through analogy and metaphor.