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Transcript of SciComm 2
with young people
Introduction to us
Introduction to SciComm
to get involved
The SciComm Compromise
STEM Outreach Officer
BSc Biology and Psychology
Science Communications and Marketing Manager
MSc Science Communication
School and community groups
Museums and zoos
TV and Radio
Engaging with members of the public
newspapers and magazines
popular science books
marketing and publicity
children's TV shows
Science communication is about getting the balance right between science and art.
Look and sound good
Read well and make sense
Use clear and simple language
Don't be overcomplicated
Be scientifically accurate
Use appropriate technical terms
Write a list of words that you commonly use in your field that may have a completely different meaning to someone else
with Young People
Call to Action
Think about how you're going to make your audience curious and what you're doing
Ask for volunteers? Pose as challenge?
It helps to relate your science to something your audience is interested in/knows about
Demonstrate your science!
Make sure you understand your demonstration and how its works.
Know your audience!
Relate your demonstration to something in the real world.
Inspire your audience to find out more or try at home.
Top Tips for Demonstrating in Schools
Know your audience - do your research. BBC Bitesize is useful for this
Use Particle People
Have children represent particles when explaining difficult concepts.
Involve everyone if possible
Children remember things better if they were actively involved.
Let them find the answers
Ask leading questions
Allow them to be inquisitive
Don't be negative or discouraging if they give a wrong answer.
Candice, age 11
Ryan, age 10
Written Science Communication
Better to write in terms of people eg 1 in 1000
50% increase sounds like a lots but what if it's an increase from 0.01?
Facts not Opinions
Science is about representing the results and findings
Science communication should present the evidence and allow the reader to form their own opinion
Stick to your key messages
No need to overcomplicate or go off topic.
Always consider their level of understanding
Don't be too simplistic or patronising
Use appropriate language register
Visual aids may help you explain things
Planning and Preparation
Why are you making this presentation?
Who will you audience be?
What do they already know?
How long will you have?
Planning your Presentation
Decide on your main points - is there a logical connection?
Create a rough draft
Remove all irrelevant sections
Have you covered the main objectives?
Does it flow well?
Make slides relevant and minimal
Use graphs and charts to present data
Double check spelling and grammar
Avoid distracting transitions
Use Newcastle University templates
Format and Style
Chose a clear, easy to use font
Avoid clashing colours
Maintain a consistent style
Positive Body language
Voice - slowly and clearly
Writing about science
Talking about science
Specific to your field
STEM Newcastle Blog
Other things of interest
Research and Policy
Find a scientific article, written for a non-scientific audience and evaluate it
If you were to cover the same story, what would you do differently?
Appeal to emotion - what makes it interesting or compelling
Appeal to authority - what makes it credible?
Appeal to logic and reason - what makes it believable?
Plastic is everywhere, polluting our waters, choking marine wildlife, and even in our food and water.
Almost a century after scientists first heard rumours of its existence, an isolated population of orangutans on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has been confirmed as a new species
A new cutting edge study from Kings College, London has found that residues of popular weedkiller glyphosate found in food can cause fatty liver disease
Science Communication is a method of storytelling. There should be a beginning, middle and end.
Read a scientific paper and pull out 5 key messages
Sum it up in a few lines for a non-scientific audience
Use metaphors your audience is familiar with
Look for Pathos that will hook readers in
Use Logos to make it believable
Use Ethos to make it credible
Science and Policy
Policy makers depend on scientific evidence to make sound decisions.
To bring your research to the attention of local, national or international policy you must first answer the questions:
Why does it matter?
Who does it matter to most?
Case Study: Sustainable Development Goals
Sketch out literally or in words what you think people should do about it and what would happen if they don’t do anything about it.
Find the message - what should be done about it & what would happen if they did nothing.
Argue why policy is the best place for getting the job done, while mentioning others that need to be on board to get it to work or support your views.
A policy brief usually combines the views of more than one person or source.
series of blogs
on topical issues relevant to the SDGs prior to the sign off of the Goals in 2015. https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/sustainability/category/globalgoals/
the basis for commentary
on Zero Draft of Post-2015 Outcome Document on wording of the SDG targets. https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/sustainability/key-comments-on-the-zero-draft-of-the-post-2015-outcome-document/
multiple stakeholder conferences
to encourage interaction with Newcastle University academics. http://www.ncl.ac.uk/sustainability/conference/
links with key organisations
involved in the drafting of the Goals.
working in partnership with organisations and individuals
focused on policy for the SDGs and preparing to submit evidence to the UN High Level Political Forum.
What does your piece of science contribute?
Does it provide concrete evidence or is it more theoretical?
Does it build upon existing policy?
Who are the key players that would listen to this work?
The Invisible Oil Spill
Newly discovered orangutan species is also the most endangered
Glyphosate Weedkiller Causes Liver Disease