It can be difficult to make complex scientific concepts understandable, and attractive, to the public.
Kathleen Conklin, associate professor of genetics at the University of Minnesota, said when scientists are so focused on finding the truth, it can be mistaken for a lack of understanding by the public.
"The highest compliment that I can give a scientist in that vein is that they are disinterested," she said. "Meaning they are not trying to push one agenda or another. They're just trying to get at the truth. But when scientists are speaking in that way, they'll often couch all of their results or conclusions and say, 'Well, we're not quite sure.' And so that makes it sound like we don't know what's going on. And that's a mistake. And I think the public gets the idea that we're not really showing anything definitely."
Robert Elde, dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota, said one reason scientists have problems communicating to the public is because they'll get criticized for streamlining the science.
"We have a pecking order amongst ourselves," he said. "And if you stoop too low in explaining it or using metaphors that are a little bit too loose, even if the core of the point may have come across, the esoteric part of the science will be diluted and lost. And that can be at your own peril in the scientific community.