Why communicate science to non-experts?
Communicating science to a public audience creates rewarding opportunities to develop new skills, attract new collaborators, and invite the public into democratic discussions about the future of scientific research. The resources below draw on academic research and experience to unpack these opportunities.
- Why communicate your research? SMC Top Tips
- Why bother with the media? SMC desk guide
- Salmon R, Priestley R & Goven J (2015) The reflexive scientist: An approach to transforming public engagement. Journal of Environmental Studies and Science 7 (1)
Choose your platform
As science communicators, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to reaching a public audience – but this choice can feel overwhelming at times. Finding the right platform for your natural communication style will help bring your most authentic self to the fore. Below are some resources to help you consider and navigate the various options.
- The Conversation
- In print, Science Media SAVVY
- Clayton V (2015) The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing, The Atlantic
- The radio interview, Science Media SAVVY
- Bassil K (2019) Lessons I’ve learnt from creating a science podcast, Nature
- Half-life your message, Michigan Online
- The TV interview, Science Media SAVVY
- 8 Top Tips: Communicating your Research, SMC
- SMC video workshops
- Farinella M (2018). The potential of comics in science communication. Journal of Science Communication 17(01), Y01-01.
- Poster design: A practical guide for researchers, Design Science
- Bik HM & Goldstein MC (2013). An introduction to social media for scientists. PLOS Biology, 11(4), e1001535.
- Jarreau P (2017) To Selfie or Not to Selfie – Can Scientists Foster Public Trust on Instagram? From the Lab Bench
Know your audience
Whatever platform you choose, understanding and engaging your audience are key to being an effective communicator. The resources below aim to help you develop these skills.
Meet your audience where they’re at:
- Tips for improving your science communication, SMC Top Tips
- Rowan C (2013) Science in Ten Hundred Words: The `Up-Goer Five’ challenge, Scientific American.
- Building trusted relationships, SMC Top Tips
- Fiske ST & Dupree C (2014). Gaining trust as well as respect in communicating to motivated audiences about science topics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 111 (Supplement 4), 13593-13597
The power of empathy: