Resources for researchers deal with online harassment

Resources for researchers dealing with harassment

All researchers should expect their work to be scrutinised by the public, but on some topics this can go beyond what you’re expected to deal with.

The Australian Science Media Centre has developed an online toolkit to help experts both prepare for, and respond to, trolling and harassment online, after a survey of more than 100 scientists found that one in three reported experiencing abuse on social media.

Ask us for the log-in details if you want to access the access to the toolkit via the AusSMC’s SCIENCE MEDIA SAVVY training portal.

The UK Science Media Centre has also developed advice for researchers experiencing harassment, which helps researchers across academia tackle the online harassment they face while working on some of the world’s most controversial, and vital, topics.

Top tips include:

  • Step back and assess: those supporting your research are often the silent majority
  • Don’t allow yourself to be silenced: engaging with media can help get your messages across
  • Think about the positive messages you want to get across
  • Focus on those who are interested in listening to your views
  • Be upfront and honest about uncertainties and limitations in your research
  • Maintain perspective: the attention can often disappear as quickly as it erupts
  • Get support: from your peers, institute, funder and the SMC.

The free resource aims to give experts increased confidence to communicate their research to the public. It encourages researchers to not be silenced by criticism, and to be upfront and honest about any uncertainties in their work. It also shows where to seek support and how to take action against the trolls.

Note: The UK SMC and the AusSMC are sister organisations to the SMC NZ. We share some resources but do not share funding or governance.

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