The scientific dissemination lessons of Eduard Punset


Throughout his life, Eduard Punset He reflected a lot on the direction of his life and the meaning of death. But this Wednesday, after the family of the writer and scientific disseminator communicated his death at the age of 82, his followers have taken over to continue with the reflection and remember his legacy. He is remembered as a great communicator who, despite his chiaroscuro, managed to get a generation will be interested in science.

Many remember now his most mediatic facet, when with his extravagance, charisma and wild hair was made known to the public through the 'Networks' program, a window to scientific popularization in 'prime time' that lasted almost two decades. Before this, however, the tour of this Barcelona born in 1936 took him on paths as diverse as law, economics and politics. In an old interview with EL PERIÓDICO, in fact, Punset argued these course changes saying that his life had never been planned. And perhaps that is why now there are many who remember him for different facets of his career.

The death of the charismatic communicator has shocked the community of disseminators and scientific journalists, who now recover their legacy remembering the lessons (both good and bad) learned from his meteoric career.

Empathize with the public

"Eduard Punset had the incredible ability to connect with people, something that not all scientific disseminators achieve, we do not know if it was because of his charisma, his hair or his tone when speaking, but there was something in him that made the public interested in what he was going to say and he remained attentive to his explanations, "he reflects Pere Estupinyà, scientific popularizer of which Punset was mentor and teacher. "He is the example of the figure of the scientific disseminator as someone to trust, he did not talk about science in a neutral way, but thanks to his overwhelming personality, people empathized with him and trusted him to learn", adds the current presenter of 'The brain hunter'

Talent as a speaker

"I remember that when I was studying in the university, I used to ask the professors what they thought of Punset: while those in Biology emphasized some other scientific slip, those in Audiovisual Communication praised their talent as a speaker. But, in fact, the opinion that mattered most to me was that of ordinary people: "we learn a lot from him", the majority told me. And, basically, if there is something about scientific divulgation, it is precisely this: to learn ", reflects Òscar Cusó, writer and documentalist for 'National Geographic'.

Ask the right questions

"Eduard Punset inspired a whole generation of future communicators Y scientific disseminatorss both with its 'Networks' program and through its science books, "he recalls Raül Toran, president of the Catalan Association of Scientific Communication (ACCC), of which Punset was one of the first partners. "The main lesson we can learn from him was his innate curiosity, which he transmitted when talking about scientific topics, and his ability to ask questions that would get to the bottom of the issue. "

Infinite curiosity

"Punset knew, thanks to his personality and character, to irrigate the advances of science with emotion, he put salt and pepper in knowledge, and he transmitted with exuberance his infinite curiosity for life and the world. Now we will remember him as a great popularizer who liked to answer more than ask ", comments Lluís Reales, scientific journalist and professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).

Balance between enthusiasm and rigor

"De Punset we learned the importance of there being stars of the popular science. That is, referents that manage to place scientific issues at the center of everyday conversations ", says Antonio Calvo Roy, scientific journalist and president of the Spanish Association of Scientific Communication (AECC). "From his work we learned which are the indispensable ingredients to talk about science. enthusiasm, which characterized his work. On the other, rigor, which vanished at some point in his career leading to somewhat confusing results. But today, despite everything, I want to stay with the Punset of the first years, the one that got people interested in science, "he reflects.

Critical thinking

"The great lesson we should learn through figures like this is that whatever happens it is very important that we do not idealize the intellectual authorities," he reflects. Eparquio Delgado, psychologist, writer and scientific disseminator. "Punset was a very important scientific disseminator who managed to connect with a lot of people, but in his later years, he also tried some pseudoscientific and self-help topics that have nothing to do with science, which is why I think we can learn from him that we must lower our guard and that also the people we admire can and should be analyzed under the magnifying glass of the critical thinking"

(tagsToTranslate) Eduard Punset (t) Science


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