What Kind of SciComm?

It’s a simple question but not such a simple answer.

Think about how you like to spend time relaxing. Is it reading, gaming, tinkering, dancing, watching/making)movies, writing, singing, or doing any of the other million things you could be. Just as we all like each of these forms of communication in differing amounts, so we also approach how we share our love of science.

An example of the many ways SciComm people choose to tell the stories are available in the interviews conducted by Julie Gould at Speaking of Science. Reading through those interviews will be inspiring, especially if you haven’t yet thought about which medium you could to use as your communication method.

Still stuck for ideas? Here are a few we love, whether you are beginning or brave:

  • Twitter Take a look at what others are talking about.
  • Blogging (IChemE president, Professor Geoff Maitland is blogging every day on Chemical Engineering topics)
  • The Conversation (Academics can write a feature piece for a public audience)
  • Use your Hobby (It took one member of the team to share their passion and train the others)
  • Filmaking (Can you create an informative or inspirational video to tell your story?
  • Building (Make something; anything; then share it with others)
  • Gamifying (Turning research into a traditional or digital game. Check out the Bioenergy game)
  • Outreach (Universities run workshops to encourage less privileged children to come to university)
  • Bright Club (Researchers become stand-up comedians for the evening)
  • Science on Stage (Write a show for a public audience and they will even pay to see you do it!)
  • Expressive Dance (Not kidding! This example was funded by the Institute of Physics)
  • Theatre (Provoke discussion about a topic through an arts medium)
  • Citizen Science (Getting your audience to collect or sort your data for you.)

As well as thinking about what you like doing and where you feel your skills lie, there are a few other things to consider: Who are you communicating with and will they be interested? What message are you communicating? Does it translate well into your medium? What are you wanting to get out of it? Why are you doing this in the first place? Let’s unpack that next…

Next: The first three steps