Dr. Jean-luc Doumont of Principiae spoke at Stanford's Clark Center on April 12, 2012. He explained why scientists are often perceived as living in their own impenetrable world, discussed the challenges of communicating with a lay audience, and suggested strategies for overcoming them.
"When people like you [scientists & PhD students] talk about their research, half of the time even your peers don't understand what the hell you are talking about, and when they do understand they find it boring. That's the sad truth."
"You see the problem here. We are learning to communicate by explaining things to people [professors] who all ready know [the material]. What kind of learning experience is that? It's the wrong approach…..on top of that the purpose is being graded, which means we have to prove to those people grading us how clever we are."The book is excellent, but you can also find this 16-page and free pdf document quite useful.
Communicating Science to Nonscientists