RUB Research School

KT_01: Science Communication: How to communicate my research to non-experts?

For doctoral researchers from all research fields | Level all

Workshop in person (room to be announced) (or online if necessary)
Date: 19.-20.09.2022
Time: 10.00 - 18:00 hrs
Trainer: Kristin Raabe
Language: English
Participants: max. 12 persons
Credit Point: acknowledged with 0,75 CP for the doctoral training programme of RUB-RS Certificate

Course Description
Podcasts, Science Fairs, science slams, science blogs and YouTube channels are just a few examples of the many options scientists have today to communicate their work with the public. But every format and every target audience has very specific requirements that must be considered when developing a communication strategy. Which online media or types of face-to-face events are best for communicating my research content? How can I approach my respective target audience? What do journalists expect from researchers? How can I formulate a comprehensible core message? These and other questions will be addressed in this workshop with many hands-on exercises. At the end the participants will have all the tools they need for creating their own communication strategy.

Goal: Why am I communicating?
This is not just about exploring your own motivation, but also about considering the relationship between science and society. In addition, you will be developing specific communication goals for your own research topic.

Target audience: Who am I addressing?
Seniors, students, cyclists, journalists, the unemployed, kindergarten children, politicians, and others can represent a specific target audience in science communication depending on the respective topic and communicative situation. In this module, you’ll learn how to define a target group for your own research topic.

Role: Who am I?
Teacher, prophet, savior, villain - researchers can play a wide variety of roles in public. Not always - but sometimes – you can shape who you want to be in public.

Topic & message: What am I communicating?
In this module, you will develop a core message for your research topic. The ability to summarize one's own research in a few sentences is equally important for every topic of science communication.

Formats: Where do I communicate?
Each type of communication takes place in a specific space. For example, it could be a zoom conference, a lecture room, a website, or the space that a science magazine gives you for an article. Each of these spaces provides a concrete structure for the content which you are communicating. In this seminar module you are going to learn how to communicate within these structures.

Media: Which tools can I use to communicate?
Even if the space in which you communicate has already been determined, you can use various tools that might strengthens your message. For example, in an online lecture, you can use videos, pictures or sounds, provided that your topic allows it. Texts can also be illustrated with graphics or images, and GIFs often have an enormous outreach on Twitter. Choosing and mastering the right tools for your research topic is what you are going to learn in this workshop module.

Style: How do I communicate?
Do I want to be entertaining, emotional, or rather go for a factual style? Researchers who humorously communicate their simplified research content often fear that their colleagues will no longer take them seriously. However, an overly objective communication style often does not reach the target group. In this workshop module the actual pitfalls of different communication styles are to be discussed and appropriate countermeasures taken.

Kristin Raabe is a science journalist and works - amongst others - for WDR (Quarks & Co, Nano), Deutschlandfunk (Forschung Aktuell) and Technology Review (Heise Verlag). She is a member of the Science Press Conference. Her science journalism work has been awarded several prizes. She also works as expert trainer and has been offering media training for scientists for many years.

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