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

Le Cirque de Science Communication

Like the graceful, magical trapeze artist, the science communicator should enthrall her audience.


Silence. Dimmed lights, baited breath. Sequins shimmer and sparkle, winking at the audience below; a thousand pairs of eyes straining upwards as one, waiting. Her poise is perfect: she is ready.

Lights, heat, a crescendo of drums and she is falling, soaring, twisting and turning, spiralling to dizzying heights. She is dancing against gravity, teasing the trapeze.

Continue reading Le Cirque de Science Communication

Filed under: dissemination,science copywriting,science writing,Tips | Tags: , , | By Edwin on August 29, 2013 at 12:51 am

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

Sub-contracting in FP7 – the whys and wherefores

We continue the debate on the benefits and pitfalls of using sub-contractors in EU-funded research projects. Continue reading Sub-contracting in FP7 – the whys and wherefores

Do projects like to communicate?

Over the last few weeks we have been discussing the findings of a survey we conducted in order to inform our CSFRI (or Horizon 2020) Green Paper response. We have looked at the use of sub-contractors in current FP7 projects, issues surrounding the involvement of SMEs as project partners and the development of Horizon 2020 itself.

In this post we explore some of the attitudes people have towards project communication.
Continue reading Do projects like to communicate?

Filed under: CSFRI,dissemination,FP7,innovation,science copywriting | Tags: , , , , | By Hywel on July 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Scientia Scripta on

As part of our on-going efforts to provide the best possible research dissemination service for EC-funded projects, we are delighted to announce that we are exploring  a new partnership with FP-tools.

FP-tools provides sophisticated document and project management tools specifically developed for EC framework programme researchers. The solutions on offer cover all aspects of project lifecycles from the creation of proposals, through research implementation to reporting on the final results.

The high quality tools on offer ensure that all documents are efficiently produced and in formats that comply fully with all EC requirements. However, the strength of all text does rely on the written ability of project partners as well as the amount of time and resources they can devote to the work. This can place limits on the quality of reports meaning that project research isn’t represented as well as it could be.

That’s where Scientia Scripta comes in. We are offering specialist editing and proofing of all reports and documents developed using FP-tools’ solutions; casting a critical yet creative eye over them to help research make more of an impact.

To find out more please go to and give your feedback on this exciting new development of our services.

Filed under: dissemination,FP7,science copywriting | Tags: , , , | By Hywel on June 17, 2011 at 2:06 am