For people who wish to learn actionable skills we have teaching. But for people who have not yet decided to learn a thing, we have science communication, which I am not an expert in.
From what I have gathered, the most generous interpretation of the purpose of science communication I think regards the public as people who are ready and curious to learn about the world with just a little bit pre-digestion of specialised information out of respect for their busy schedules.
A less generous version regards the public as the funders of science who should be pacified with a little infotainment so they will keep funding the real scientists to do real work.
Perhaps less generous still, science communication might be the supplier of trite factoids to make the audience sound clever when they regurgitate it somewhere else.
I prefer to focus on the first use case, because I do not have the stomach for the others. I am not raising funding for a startup heading to an IPO, which is the thing that would pay me enough to swallow my pride for the next two use cases. I am currently implicated somewhat in (what I hope is) the first use case, so here are some useful links for my own reference.
No but what is science communication?
Turns out my these purposes have been noted and studied by others. Simis et al. (2016) says:
Miller’s formative work led to greater awareness of the need for public engagement with and communication of science and mobilized the scientific community to fill the deficit in knowledge among public audiences. Unfortunately, this approach assumes that scientific knowledge communicated to publics stands alone to encourage understanding and support of science. The interpretation of these facts is assumed to be identical for all members of the public. An assumption of rational reasoning underlies this strategy of public communication. If individuals interpret information in a rational and objective manner, many experts believe that the conclusions of public audiences will be supportive of science. This notion of the knowledge deficit model is epitomized in the phrase “To know science is to love it” (Turney, 1998).
Yet, empirical research has shown that public communication of science is more complex than what the knowledge deficit model suggests (e.g. Brossard et al., 2009; Davies, 2008; Nisbet and Scheufele, 2009; Sturgis and Allum, 2004; Yeo et al., 2015).
Interesting examples of
Science communication for policy
See science for policy.
Science communication in the community of science
See scientific community.