As science becomes ever more complex and interdisciplinary, conveying new ideas and initiatives in an exciting yet clear manner is becoming a highly formidable task. This is particularly true when encountering people outside one’s specialized field of expertise, such as potential investors and donors, prospective students or employees, journalists, and especially the lay public.
The current COVID-19 crisis has highlighted more than ever the need for effective communication of scientific information. A science communication (SciComm) toolkit is a powerful means to boost a career, successfully introduce a new tech product, or disseminate knowledge to the wider community.
Why should I care?
If you cannot be understood…
- You lose your audience
- The impact of your research will be smaller
- It’s easier for funders to say no
Why is it hard to explain my science?
- As researchers, you are surrounded by jargon, technical terms and acronyms that only people from your field understand
- In research, details are super important, but people outside your field don’t really need to know them
- Science is about precision- outside the lab, precision comes
at the expense of impact
How can I learn SciComm?
Science communication is a broad field that combines a variety of methods and principles for explaining complex messages in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to populations unfamiliar with these fields.
Some of these principles and methods are: Knowing your audience in advance, using appropriate terminology, avoiding paradigms, bridging knowledge gaps, refining the message, storytelling, using analogies, public speaking strategies, employing visual media, and more.
In SciComm Skills workshops and one-on-one training, you can acquire the skills needed to give better presentations that are tailor made for any audience- the general public, diverse communities, decision and policy makers, funders, researchers from other fields etc.