Information and training
If we want to show the impact of our research, we can’t do so without science communication. But how do you go about communicating science? Where do you start as a science communication novice? And how do you take your communication to a higher level? On this page, you will find websites, articles, videos and blogs with valuable information for anyone wanting to enter the arena of science communication and contact with the general public. This list was compiled with the aid of the Young Academy Leiden Outreach Group.
Science communication for beginners
So you want to tell people outside the academic world what your research is about but are unsure how to go about this or where to begin? The resources below will help you get started:
- Talking Science: An Introduction to Science Communication is a short, accessible YouTube course by Greg Foot, a science journalist at BBC TV & Radio
- Ten Simple Rules for Scientists Engaging in Science Communication by scientist and science writer Brittney Borowiec
- Young Academy Leiden has an Outreach Group that shares knowledge and helps bring together researchers who want to communicate with events and organisations where they can do this.
Also take a look in the Courses and Training section. You may see something that appeals there.
Practical tips for writing, blogging and presenting
Writing an accessible, non-academic text about your research is not always easy. It takes another approach, writing style and choice of words than academic texts. And lectures for the general public need a different approach from ones for your peers. Below are a number of articles with practical tips on presenting, writing and blogging about your research for a non-academic audience.
- Ten Tips for Effective Science Communication from the Northeastern University graduate programme.
- The Op-Ed Project is a guide to writing op-eds and columns.
- Communicating Research to a General Audience (Stanford University)
- Public speaking for academics – 10 tips collected by The Guardian
- How to Start Blogging about Science (in Dutch) by linguists (and science communicators) Sterre Leufkens and Marten van der Meulen
- How to Create a Successful Science Blog according to The Guardian
Social media is a good tool for communicating about your research. This can be to your peers or a more general public. The articles below will help you decide whether science communication on social media is right for you and how to go about it.
- Leiden University has come up with Eight Tips for Social Media, to help make this a positive experience.
- The Academic Designer’s list of Social Media Platforms for Academics (recently updated) will help you choose which medium suits you best.
Why science communication at all?
If you are wondering why it could be worth being in contact with the general public or would like to find out more about the theory behind science communication:
- Nature journal has collated all their publications about science communication, not only research papers but also columns and editorials, on this page.
- Twelve Quality Indicators for Science Communicators is a free guide for science communicators who want to take their work to the next level;
- The IMPACTLAB, a collaboration between Leiden University and Utrecht University, studied the factors that contribute to the impact of science communication, and developed a practical toolkit which you can use to measure the impact of your own science communication activities;
- Some Reflections on the Value of Science Communication is the inaugural lecture (in Dutch) by Ionica Smeets, our Professor of Science Communication.
- Every year the Dutch Research Council (NWO) (and others) holds the National Science Communication Day for anyone involved in science communication in the broadest sense of the term.
- Science communication or outreach is an important theme in the discussion about a different form of Recognition and Rewards. For more information about this at Leiden University, see Academia in Motion
Courses and training
At Leiden University we offer various training courses on the theme of science communication:
- The course Academic Outreach: An Introduction to Sharing Your Research via Social and Conventional Media is offered several times a year within the HRM PhD programme;
- Blogging about your Research is a practical, interactive course that is offered several times per year by HRM.
- The annual Science Communication Summer School in Leiden is organised by the Science, Communication and Society research group and is open to researchers from all disciplines, from home and abroad.
If you are looking for training in a particular science-communication skill that is not mentioned here, please contact the Science Communication Adviser at SCM so we can consider the options.