The benefits of communicating science are many, such as enthusing the next generation of researchers, informing policymakers, correcting misconceptions and misinformation, and raising awareness of a particular field. The ability to explain complex technical information to non-specialists is also a valuable transferable skill. In an academic environment, for example, non-specialists include potential collaborators from other disciplines and the committees of funding bodies.
There is an increasing demand for researchers to explain their work and how it affects society, and most funding agencies now expect researchers to engage these wider audiences, whether through the media, public lectures or other forms of outreach.
"Science, I maintain, is an absolutely essential tool for any society with a hope of surviving well into the next century with its fundamental values intact – not just science as engaged in by its practitioners, but science understood and embraced by the entire human community. And if the scientists will not bring this about, who will?"
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, 1997