My experience at the science communication primer
It was held at Conway Hall in Holborn, London and was attended by a range of speakers including Dr Stephen Webster (ICL), Tom Chivers (Buzzfeed) and Mun Keat Looi (Mosaic) and much more.
Overall the day was an enlightening experience and I learnt a lot from each of the speakers and their views of science communication and their backgrounds.
Although it was a chilly October day, the hall was packed with a full-house of aspiring science communicators. We all came from extremely different backgrounds but our intentions/goals were the same.
The day started off with an introduction and welcome by Katherine Mathieson who then introduced Dr Stephen Webster who spoke about the recurring themes that affect science communication and how the public relationship with science communication is an extremely difficult one to understand.
- Recommendation: do take a notepad and pen to take down notes and possibly a tablet or laptop so that you could open and save the speakers recommended reading.
The next session was by a panel of speakers: Tom Tapper, Dr Claire Asher, Tom Chivers and Ellen Dowell. They discussed how to choose the right medium for your message which isn’t restricted to the usual, well-known methods.
The third session was on storytelling in science communication. Mun-Keat Looi told us all about the effect that storytelling has on engaging readers with science and gave us some great examples of where it is used. This is something I would like to adapt in my science blogs. We also did a fun and creative exercise where we had to make up a science story, with characters and a “plot” and swap with our neighbour and have them fill in the alternate sections.
Later on in the day, the fourth session was hosted by Marie Hobson who talked to us about evaluating our work and how to understand our audience and identifying potential challenges or barriers in our piece of science communication.
The closing session of the day was a relaxing interview with Helen Czerski. She talked about her scientific journey and her relationship with “bubbles” and her research.
As well as learning more about science communication, the event was really great for networking with other science communicators and meeting other people in the field. I would highly recommend this event for anyone who loves science and wants to communicate it or study science communication in higher education.