By Chiara Facciotto
Doing research already requires a good amount of creativity, but communicating it brings the game to a whole new level. There are many different ways of communicating your results and you can pick your favorite one based on your skills and preference.
Do you like talking? Giving public lectures or participating to a podcast could be the way to do it. International events like ScienceSLAM, Pint of Science, and the European Researchers’ Night, as well as local ones like the Afternoons in The Science Basement, offer the stage to scientists. This year the University of Helsinki also launched Fresh from Campus, its latest initiative to give its researchers a space where they can share their latest work with the public.
Do you prefer writing? There are several science blogs where you can post about the most exciting discoveries in your field. Organizations like The Science Basement offer researchers blogs where they can post about their research, even as a one-time gig. Some scientific publishing groups, like Nature and Hindawi, have also started to have blogs where research findings and research practices are discussed in layman’s terms.
Do you feel like expressing the artist in you? Why not considering making some educational illustrations or videos to visually explain some complex concepts in a fun and colorful way (the YouTube channel In a nutshell is a very nice example). You could even pair up with some artists and investigate how to bring science and art together, whether it’s with an urban art piece, or with some more investigative collaborations like those promoted by the Bioart society.
Do you enjoy cooking? Vlogs like the Science Kitchen discuss the latest research on nutrition while showing its audience how to prepare new recipes. Three scientists from USA and South-Africa also created Supper with a Scientist, a platform where researchers can organize dinners with their local communities, during which they can debate the latest science news and policies while enjoying a nice meal together.
The bottom line is, I think science communication is a lot about finding what you like, what you are good at, or what skills you would like to develop, and playing with them. In my case, I like organizing events where researchers can directly interact with the public, so I decided to get involved in projects like TEDxHelsinkiUniversity and the series of public lectures organized by The Science Basement. What is YOUR way to tell the story?
About the author:
Chiara Facciotto is a PhD student in Bioinformatics at the University of Helsinki and a science communication enthusiast. Her science outreach projects include, among others, TEDxHelsinkiUniversity and The Science Basement. You can follow Chiara and comment this post in Twitter: @chiara_facciott