"Scientists and academic institutions need to expand definition of what their “real work” is: “The work is not done, in my opinion, until it’s communicated in a way that citizens understand.
I disagree strongly with this. A scientist's job is to do science. That is already quite difficult, and from the scientists I've know and the little science I've done, it requires an environment and a skill set that are in many ways orthogonal to a "communications" mindset. Doing science requires immense and prolonged concentration, often even in isolation. Your head is in a totally different space from the real world, and the best periods I had doing science I was deep into it and barely knew what was going on in the outside world, let alone the world of my friends. Maybe it was just me, but I found that doing good work and having insights required this kind of immersion. It didn't involve telephone calls and writing op-eds and the like -- it required keeping your butt in the chair and debugging code at 1 am and dreaming about your problem as you fell asleep.
Some scientists are good at public communications -- most are not. And that's a good thing. Communicating publically in today's media environment is difficult and not something you learn easily, especially when your inclination is more towards mathematics and rationality than towards simplifying your work for the public.
Isn't it the job of science journalists and public information officers to do this simplifying and contextifying and communicating? (By the way, did you know there are now 4 PIOs in America for every journalist?) What else are they there for?
And by the way, who says scientists aren't communicating their science now? All the scientists I ask for interviews are happy to give them, even those who already have a great many demands on them. What else should they be doing that they're not?
So let's get off their case and let them do science. A lack of communication skills in the scientific community is NOT the reason the world is refusing to deal with climate change. Scientists have made their case quiet clearly. The public knows well what needs to be done. The problems are elsewhere.