Scientists who want to communicate their work with people outside their specialist subject face particular challenges. Yet, if advised and coached appropriately they can engage in a true dialogue that enhances mutual understanding between academia and the general public. The primary channels for coming in contact with non-experts are the mass media, museums/science centres, activities in schools or during science festivals and, more recently, Web 2.0 (blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc.).
While the majority of scientists accept the importance of science communication in principle, many of them still lack the practical know-how, since it is one thing to give a lecture or write a professional article, but an entirely different endeavour to adapt to the rules of a non-specialist audience. The workgroup therefore offers EuroScience members the opportunity to develop their communication skills actively by organising workshops during ESOF meetings and offering a platform for the exchange of ideas and practices, thus furthering dialogue about science communication.
The members of our workgroup come from a variety of backgrounds, including scientific research, archaeology, management and entrepreneurship, and press relations. This diversity helps ensure that we explore not only communication issues specific to our disciplines, but also fundamental aspects of communication common to all technical fields.
We hope to address some of the problems faced by scientists who are excellent researchers but who find it difficult to communicate their work to others.
Share experiences and best practices in communicating topics from the “hard” sciences and humanities with non-experts and a broader audience
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Be Prepared For the Questions
As a scientist you know very well the essential aspects of your research. Based on these aspects, you prepared your press release, upcoming TV interview or press conference about your recent finding. This tip sheet is about what might still arise - to your (unpleasant) surprise - during the media event, and it gives some ideas for smart preparation for your interview.
How to use films to spread your corporate or institutional image
A picture tells more than a thousand words. That’s especially true for animated pictures. This tip sheet covers the making and spreading of films and shows how films offer various opportunities to give the public a picture of your aims and work.
Partners, costs and formats – essential for a successful film
This tip sheet offers some details on the production of a film or video. How to choose the right partners, which decisions must be taken in advance? It gives an overview over film formats for different uses and names costs.
Corporate Design – the key to a consistent image
The key to a consistent and recognisable appearance of an organization is a corporate design. This tip sheet focuses on the necessary planning, gives practical tips and some background for all people working with a new corporate design.
Reaching out to your local community
If you are a scientist or a science communicator willing to communicate science to the public, look no further than your local community. Whether you work in a big city or a small town, there are plenty of opportunities for you to engage the local audience. This tip sheet offers some ideas on how to communicate science to your community.
If no one understands the science, it doesn’t exist: more effective scientist-to-scientist communication by knowing your audience
Scientists, would you like to do a better job describing your research clearly and forcefully to colleagues in related disciplines or completely different disciplines? Would you like to be more successful at publishing in journals outside of your specialty, or at competing for multidisciplinary research funding? This tip sheet has useful strategies for reaching out to diverse audiences and communicating across disciplines.
Communicating science to the public through Web 2.0
Are you looking for new ways to engage your audience? Are you seeking new outlets to promote your events? Would you like to expand your professional network? Find out more about the opportunities created by the Web2.0 platforms.
Communicating Science through Metaphor
Fundamental science has suffered several vocabulary crises when explaining to non-specialist audience phenomena that are beyond their direct experience. Metaphor remains a very reliable tool, a valuable ally that adds creativity. This text is about how to create metaphors, how to use them - and the danger in it.
How to write a successful press release
Each day editors receive hundreds of press releases - and hundreds go straight in their bin. A well-written press release could, however, open doors for you. This tip sheet is about how to write a successful release so that your research has a better chance to be covered by the mass media.
Empowering your scientific language by making it "visualizable"
Scientists, are you trying to find ways to make your complex ideas clear and attractive for your audience? Are you frustrated that journal referees don't understand what you want to say? Are you eager to give presentations that get people excited about your work? This tip sheet has useful strategies for making your communication more concrete and understandable, and therefore more convincing.
How an open scientist can use Twitter
Do you have a provocative idea you want to share with scientists and non-scientists? Do you have a scientific question or problem and you don’t know who can help you? Then go into the public domain by using Twitter, get inspired by the input of others, and benefit from the “knowledge of the network”. This tip sheet tells you how “open scientists” use Twitter.
Preparing to interact with the media
It’s a bit like trying to lose weight: achieving good press relations rarely occurs by making a huge effort during a few events. You will achieve more through small, but regular efforts. This sheet will give you some tips for becoming familiar with the media and preparing yourself for the next time that a reporter calls you up.