Science communication advice and opinions from Scientia
As you probably already know, academics are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to communicate more broadly, especially to the public.
Moreover, given the significant change in the way information is disseminated and accessed, people want more from researchers, academic institutions, and industry than ever before. As a result, the topic of science communication is a growing area of interest.
It is now widely accepted that broader science communication is a fundamental aspect of a scientist’s career. While many do recognise this, it can be a challenge to do it effectively.
Most universities and companies have a media department to take care of related matters, and they can do a good job. The problem with the latter is, the skill set required for public sci-comm is a little different and it is often better carried out by someone with experience in the area. Furthermore, if a representative does all of your public sci-comm, no one will get to know you, or your science, on an intimate level.
Sometimes, science can feel like a joke. Experiments don’t work, simulations produce physically impossible outcomes, and a question that you thought would take two weeks to answer instead can take two years. All too often we hide the messiness of science, presenting progress as linear rather than admitting the missteps and follies along the way. But surprises and setbacks shape the story of science as a human endeavour, and if we are unwilling to share this side of science, to laugh at ourselves, we risk alienating society from science altogether.
As you probably know, the academic publishing industry is changing fast. It’s hard to keep up-to-date with some recent developments, so we’ve put together this handy document to help you more easily and quickly understand relevant aspects of Open Research and, in particular, Plan S. Perhaps you’ve heard of these concepts but don’t understand what they mean, especially if you are a young researcher. In particular, how do funding agencies feel about Open Research and Open Access (OA) publishing, and what could this mean for your career?
If you were to believe many advertising companies designing toys, T-shirts and science lab kit packaging, science isn’t attractive to girls. Yet, in the UK alone, 50% of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) enrolments, including medicine, are female postgraduates and undergraduates, with 61% of biological science and 79.4% of medicine undergraduates being women.
Bees are particularly important pollinators, with over 16,000 bee species known worldwide. Some bee species are social and have colonies with castes, a queen, workers (females) and drones (males), but over 85% of the known bee species worldwide are solitary.
ABOUT SCICOMM CORNER
As well as bringing you the latest science through our publication, we also like to share our opinions and insights about the world of science communication. Here we provide practical guidance for scientists and science communicators who desire to communicate science to a broader audience in an effective and engaging manner.
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