Mathematical scientists can play a crucial role in communicating mathematics and issues in education and research funding to the general media readership. The goals include conveying enthusiasm of mathematics, giving examples of mathematical concepts or applications, showing the beauty of mathematics, offering opinions about issues in mathematics education, advocating for funding basic research, or correcting inaccuracies or misperceptions. "It's important for mathematicians to tell their own story," notes former AMS president David Vogan.
Below are some general guidelines for getting an op-ed or letter to the editor—or even a blog post or article—published in an online or print newspaper, or magazine.
In "Writing about Math for the Perplexed and the Traumatized," Steven Strogatz (Notices of the AMS, March 2014) writes about the challenges, audiences, and heroes of popularizing science. He recommends:
See "Me, Myself and Math" Opinionator Columns, by Steven Strogatz, The New York Times, 2012
See also: "Publicize Your Research," by Audrey Williams June, The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 20, 2017 (subscription may be required), in which scientists give reasons and advice for communicating research beyond academic peers and to the media.
The National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Science Communication Toolkit for Principal Investigators (PDF or Illustrated Prezi format) provides advice and help to mathematical scientists and public information officers on how best to communicate the excitement and value of NSF-funded research.