The Cheshire explainer. Musings about the training of explainers

part of Continuing professional development: evolution, complexity and variety in science communication training needs

The profession of explainer is still pretty much undefined and underrated and the training of explainers is many times deemed to be a luxury. In the following pages we make the argument that three main factors contribute to this state of affairs and, at the same time, we try to show why the training of explainers should really be at the core of any science communication institution. These factors are: an erroneous perception of what a proper scientific training means for explainers; a lack of clear definition of the aptitudes and role of explainers required by institutions that are evolving and diversifying their missions; and an organizational model based on top-down practices of management and activity development which underappreciates the potential of the personnel working directly with the public.