Scientists, what’s your communications strategy?

ChatBubblesI’m just starting to prepare some training for PhD students and early career scientists to help them become good communicators as well as top researchers.

I’m convinced that communication is not about personality, although if you are a natural storyteller then it is oh-so-much easier. But the best communication (and by ‘best’ I mean ‘effective’) is driven by strategy not charisma. Purposeful planning is the key.

Continue reading Scientists, what’s your communications strategy?

Filed under: Communication strategy,dissemination,University issues | Tags: , , , , | By Edwin on April 23, 2015 at 2:48 am

Four ways to get the public talking about science

8128041091_4d05a276f6_bScience can be tricky. Engaging the public in science can be trickier still. Today most people read the news in digital formats ‘on the go’ and rarely have time to digest complexities and weigh up uncertainties – the bread and butter of most research. Unfortunately scientific evidence is often pushed out of the media by stronger forces: politics, business, fear and even emotion.

So how can scientists and science communicators engage the public in rational, insightful debates that focus on facts but also acknowledge that decisions and policies are rarely informed by impassionate, objective rationality?

One group giving it a good go is the team behind @talkfracking – a movement to promote public discussion about fracking in the UK. This week the team are touring Britain – from Glasgow to London to Nottingham – and staging free debates to get the public to #talkfracking. On Wednesday I attended the Manchester event.

Continue reading Four ways to get the public talking about science

Filed under: Communication strategy,dissemination | By Deborah on June 17, 2014 at 3:03 am

Eight easy ways to retell your impact story

The academic landscape is changing. Whilst blue skies research remains fascinating, research councils, funders and university assessors now want to know why your research matters. They all ask, “What impact will it make?”

Perhaps the work stimulates invention, changes policy or informs practise. Funders want to know how your previous work benefits society and how they will get value for money from future projects.

Image: Calvinius -

Today the Research Evaluation Framework (REF) is assessing British universities on their research impact; the results will be published later this year. But universities should not sit idly waiting for results.

Continue reading Eight easy ways to retell your impact story

Filed under: Communication strategy,dissemination,science writing,Tips,University issues | By Deborah on May 23, 2014 at 6:56 am

Five ways to share you science blog on Twitter

Discover some top tricks that should help your science blog get noticed

Brossard and Scheufele wrote that “[a] world in which one in seven people actively use Facebook and more than 340 million tweets are being posted every day is not the future of science communication any more. It is today’s reality.”

Studies show that Twitter is an essential element of any science communication campaign. My previous blog post outlines the evidence that Twitter is the most effective tool for sharing science stories and blogs online. But how can you fully exploit the power of this social media platform?

Tweet, Tweet

Twitter is a fast-paced mine field of hashtags, links and re-tweets: it can be easy to lose your bearings. Here are my five top tips which will help you attract attention to your Tweets.

Continue reading Five ways to share you science blog on Twitter

Filed under: Communication strategy,dissemination,Tips | By Deborah on May 18, 2014 at 7:11 am

The science of scicomms on social media

Clever ways to communicate your science, reach a wide audience – and please funders

8583949219_f55657573e_bThere has been a flurry of activity in the past few months as scientists across Europe prepare their submissions for the first calls for research funding under Horizon 2020. This successor to the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) stresses the importance of communication and dissemination in collaborative projects.

But we also know that time is valuable. If you are going to communicate, don’t you want to be absolutely certain that your efforts are worth it?

A cunning plan

Like almost everything else in life, you’ll get the best results when you follow a plan. But you must develop this plan based on evidence, not your personal preferences or a hunch. Continue reading The science of scicomms on social media

Filed under: Communication strategy,dissemination,science writing,Tips | By Deborah on April 28, 2014 at 5:59 am

Writing: more like ruthless re-writing

TheWriting - more like ruthless rewriting Welcome Trust aims to nurture new writers we offer crucial advice 

The Welcome Trust Science Writing Prize is open for entries. Until May 11th it welcomes submissions from scientists, students and amateur writers who can compete to be published in the Guardian or Observer and win £1000 in cash.

The competition aims to motivate and nurture the next generation of writers; previous winners including famous science journalist Ed Yong.

Continue reading Writing: more like ruthless re-writing

Filed under: Communication strategy,science copywriting,science writing | By Deborah on April 25, 2014 at 6:21 am

A new year, a new member of Scientia Scripta

January promises a fresh start and new challenges. So we begin this new year by welcoming another member to our team, science writer Deborah Oakley.

Deborah is no stranger here, having already worked with us as a freelancer. In 2013 she made significant contributions to our work on REF impact case studies. Her work is helping a leading UK university to highlight the ‘real world’ impact of its academic research through engaging web copy. Deborah also crafted some journalistic science articles, which were recently published in a University of Manchester stakeholder magazine. Continue reading A new year, a new member of Scientia Scripta

Filed under: Communication strategy,science copywriting,science writing | By Deborah on February 4, 2014 at 7:33 am

Science communication with a difference

We love making science exciting, engaging and understandable for non-experts. So we were particularly pleased to hear about a wordy PR exercise organized by the UK’s national synchrotron facility – Diamond Light Source.

Continue reading Science communication with a difference

Filed under: Communication strategy,science writing | Tags: , | By Hywel on December 15, 2011 at 8:30 am

Christmas is coming… so let’s tell you about our summer!

It has been a while since our last blog post here. OK, it has been a very long while, but we hope it is not too late to explain ourselves! This has been a monumentally busy summer (and early autumn) with a number of projects all falling at once. Juggling workloads with family holidays (ah, those hot, heady days of summer…) presented a few challenges.

Here’s a glimpse of just a few projects we have been working on over the past few months

Continue reading Christmas is coming… so let’s tell you about our summer!

New Trends in European PR: Success Stories

This is a guest post by Piotr Pogorzelski on an important emerging trend within European R&D PR and communications – the success story.

Continue reading New Trends in European PR: Success Stories