In addition to my three-part series reporting on a Standing up for Science media workshop organised by Voice of Young Science (VoYS), below are some resources that have been provided by Sense about Science and the day’s panellists to help researchers to engage in science communication and outreach.
Voice of Young Science (VOYS) campaigns
Mythbusting and evidence hunting campaigns that have been run by VOYS. These include projects such as The Detox Dossier (looking at evidence behind claims made by detox products and diets), Haven’t the Foggiest (discussing the evidence behind extreme weather stories) and a letter to the World Health Organisation about homeopathy in developing countries.
Voice of Young Science publications
Standing up for Science (2006)
A lively and informal guide to the media written by VoYS members for other early career researchers
Standing up for Science 2: The nuts and bolts (2008)
More tips for early career researchers on how to talk to the media and stand up for science in public life
Peer review: The nuts and bolts (2012)
A guide to peer review written by early career researchers for early career researchers
Ask for Evidence
Sense about Science guides
I don’t know what to believe (2005)
Explains how scientists present and judge research using the peer-review process, and how the public can make sense of science stories
Making sense of statistics (2010)
How can you work out what the figures might be telling you?
I’ve got nothing to lose by trying it (2nd edition, 2013)
Every day there are news reports about medical breakthroughs and wonder drugs. How can we make sense of these stories?
Making sense of uncertainty (2013)
In public discussion, scientific uncertainty is often presented as a deficiency of research. In reality, it’s an essential part of scientific research.
Other links and resources
The Plant Science Panel
50+ independent researchers who will answer questions from the public about plants, agriculture, and the environment
The John Maddox Prize for standing up for science
The prize recognises the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.
How to start Standing up for Science
Article by Dr Leah Fitzsimmons, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham and Sense about Science panellist
Understanding Animal Research
A not-for-profit organisation that explains why animals are used in medical and scientific research.
The Science Media Centre
An independent press office helping to ensure that the public have access to the best scientific evidence and expertise through the news media when science hits the headlines
The UK’s independent factchecking charity. Provides free tools, information and advice so that anyone can check the claims they hear from politicians and the media.
PSci-com mailing list
A list to provide a forum for discussion of any matter relating to public communication of science and public engagement with science
The Brilliant Club
Charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly selective universities
Pint of Science
Festival that aims to deliver interesting and relevant talks on the latest science in an accessible format to the public – mainly across bars and pubs
A communications competition designed to engage and entertain by breaking down science, technology and engineering concepts into three minute presentations
A place where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in STEM. Meetings take place in cafes, bars, restaurants and theatres.
Three Minute Thesis
Competition to cultivate academic, presentation, and research communication skills by effectively explaining research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience
British Science Association Media Fellowships
Provides the unique opportunity for practising scientists, clinicians and engineers to spend 2-6 weeks working at the heart of a media outlet such as the Guardian, BBC Breakfast or the Londonist
Royal Society pairing scheme
Each year, thirty research scientists are paired with UK parliamentarians and civil servants. They learn about each other’s work by spending time together in Westminster and the researcher’s institutions
Volunteer your time, enthusiasm and experiences to encourage and inspire young people to achieve more and progress further in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
I’m a scientist, get me out of here
A free online event where school students meet and interact with scientists. It’s an X Factor-style competition between scientists, where students are the judges.
A group of people that are passionate about celebrating women in science and passing on their love of science to the next generation
The Big Bang Fair
The largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK
Students 4 Best Evidence
A network for students interested in evidence-based healthcare
The secrets of good science writing
Series published by The Guardian. Articles include How to report from a science conference and How to write a science news story based on a research paper.
Nine ways scientists can help improve science journalism
Article published by The Guardian in 2012
Academic rigour, journalistic flair
Blogs from Nature, the home of high impact scientific and medical information
Scientific engagement in the age of social media
Reflecting on the use of social media and blogging to rapidly engage a wide, international, audience
You can find my posts on each panel at the following links:
Part One – Standing up for science: “Be brave, but not foolish”
This post reports on the first panel of the day, featuring three researchers from the University of Warwick who have experience of engaging with the media and the public
Part Two – “Be excited about your work!”: What journalists are looking for from researchers
This post reports on the second panel, featuring three journalists who discussed what they are looking for from researchers who want to engage with the media
Part Three – Standing up for science: The nuts and bolts
This post reports on the final panel of the day, featuring panellists who gave advice and practical guidance about how early career researchers can get their voices heard in the media