If we agree that science communication is essential for helping people make the best possible decisions, and we genuinely believe that the consequences of failing are severe – illness, death, catastrophe – then we must look to every available source of expertise that can improve our communication work. This is particularly urgent given how easily and inadvertently well-intentioned efforts can harden opinions, reinforce misperceptions, and deepen existing divides. That means looking not only to the work of storytellers, artists, and journalists, but also to the researchers who study communication. As a group, we’ve been skeptical: dense texts, terrible presentations, and questionable findings make us question the legitimacy of these ideas, or at least the return on investing in them. This Q&A session will focus on plain talk about what we really know, why paying attention to this research matters, and how we might apply it.