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This training covers science communication in relation to impact, the media landscape, transparency, plain language, inclusion and accessibility. It also provides you with tools for writing popular science, preparing for an interview and how to deal with negative publicity.
There is a big difference between academic writing and popular science narratives. Communicating about your results and research questions requires a different set of skills, and engaging with media demands that you know why you engage, who you want to inform or influence, where you can find that audience and what is the best way to speak to them. We talk about priming your audience, framing the issue, explaining to make the audience understand, and proving your point by providing evidence by reporting on your results. In plain language. The training also addresses digital media, and accessible writing, where we have to move beyond readable to content that is perceivable.
Communicate Like the Expert You Are
This is a crash course in communications, providing you with the tools you need to communicate about your results, and your research questions. The video covers the basics on how to navigate the media landscape and the basics of popular science writing. We cover principles for good science communication, and talk about transparency, mediatisation and hype. You will learn how to turn your narrative around to suit different audiences and how to pick a good headline. And in case you don’t want to do the writing yourself, we provide some basic media training and help you prepare for an interview, answer difficult questions, avoid common traps, and a to-do list in case of negative publicity. In this 50-minute lecture, we talk about impact, transparency, plain language, inclusion and accessibility. We will also cover social media, how Altmetric data works, and why you should bother.
About the presenter
Josepine Fernow is a communications strategist and centre coordinator for Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics (CRB) at Uppsala University. She is deputy lead for the Human Brain Project’s task 9.4 on Ethics coordination and communication.
Want to learn more? The resources mentioned in the lecture include:
- LERU’s Good Practice in Communicating Animal Research at Universities
- Lund University’s Seven Principles for Research Communication
- Plain language resources are available in most countries! Just do an online search!
- Keep track of the conversation through Altmetric
- Answer difficult questions using 14 Bridging phrases for your next interview
- Want to know more about writing in plain English? Have a look at the UK Plain English Campaign or US Plain Language Action and Information Network. There are several similar resources for different languages and domains a search away!
- There are a number of different readability formulas that can help
- Think about how you can be transparent about scope, limitations, method and authorship, also in your communications! Have a look at these seven principles for good research communication from Lund University.
- Working with animal models? Public opinion is divided, which means you need to think about how you communicate about your work. The League of European Research Universities (LERU) have published a good practice document for communicating animal research at universities that can be a good starting point for discussions about how to communicate.
- Be careful of copyright when you use images. There are several sites where you can find images that are free to use, so have a look at for example pixabay, unsplash or pexels, and remember to credit the photographer or creator.
Want more Ethics & Society training? Check out the other modules!Introduction to Responsible Research & Innovation in HBP Human & Animal Data in EBRAINS Gender, Diversity & Inclusion Researcher Awareness & Integrity Dual Use of Concern & Misuse Knowledge Transfer & Commercialization Neuroethics, Consciousness & AI Ethics Foresight & Public Engagement Science Communication
More Ethics & Society Training Modules
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The Human Brain Project will have an impact on both science and society.
We promote RRI practices within the HBP, and help to shape the direction of its research in ethically sound ways that serve the public interest.