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5 Tips for Becoming a Better Science Communicator


katfehl
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When scientists communicate effectively about their research, science thrives.

Making our science digestible to nonscientists helps people understand the wider relevance of science in society. Given the current stark funding realities, making our science accessible can also promote more informed decision-making, especially with policymakers, government agencies, and other types of funders.

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  • 4 weeks later...
DLRobinson

Great communication tips!
I practice explaining my research to elementary-age kids. If I can explain it to them in a way that keeps their interest and prompts questions, then I know I am communicating well (and free of jargon).

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Kimberly Raab-Graham

Great article. I think graduate programs are starting to think about providing training to their students to help them be better communicators. If your program does not offer such a program I have seen students “transform” in their ability to give clear and compelling talks by participating in toast masters or getting some coaching by professional speakers. Someone outside of science can help you rid your talk of scientific lingo.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Katinka Stecina

There are, in deed, many ways to communicate. Info graphics is one that - for me - made a huge difference in my success of communicating and I see that as a “new generation” thing. I have seen that new students entering into grad programs are really good at creating a to-the point summary of projects and express themselves by creating info graphics often better than in writing. Anyone else experienced this?

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Gabriella Panuccio

Public Speaking and Toast Masters made my day! You’re so right. No matter how much you love to be on stage and talk about Science: it’s how you present yourself and your research that needs to be channeled through the right intention. Then, natural talent and enthusiasm play a significant part.

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Gabriella Panuccio

Yes, I coached a Master student who was very good in preparing presentations, while writing was her first experience. I helped her structure her Thesis by following the logic that she would have used to explain her work to kids. Of course the presentation slides helped her like magic.
We were discussing this in another thread on how to write your first paper (https://community.sfn.org/t/tips-on-tackling-your-first-manuscript/7625?u=gabry): images are 10 thousand times more eloquent than words I believe. Being able to master a visual presentation (like preparing slides) also brings you half-way into the process of writing a manuscript.

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  • 8 months later...
Kimberly Raab-Graham

I was cleaning out my basement this weekend and I found a book called “Dazzle them with Style.” It’s a very basic book on how to tell a scientific story - where to detour and how to get back on track. I highly recommend it!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Gabriella Panuccio

Thanks @kraabgra! These a re the kind of books that always come in handy. Brief and to the point, they give you powerful hints in a nutshell.

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Katinka Stecina

Yes, thanks for this book suggestion from above - https://community.sfn.org/u/kraabgra
In fact, if any other books come to your mind, or anyone else would have a suggestion, in terms of resources to look at and recommend for trainees - please, list/share them here. I would like to be able to point my trainees to such resources- because it’s important that they hear the important key concepts from different sources (than the lab).

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