How many people hear about your research? While often overlooked and undervalued, effectively communicating your research outside of academic journals is crucial for reaching circles outside of your immediate professional sphere. Your hard work deserves to get noticed, your findings maximum impact. Whether developing new materials with important potential industrial applications, or a breakthrough clinical therapy for a disease, it’s important to share your successes to translate your research into tangible real-life results. Fellow researchers, institutes and the public all stand to gain substantially and benefit from the new knowledge you bring to your field – but they need to know about it first. Dissemination is a key priority. Here, we look at a few things to think about when connecting scientific research with a wider audience.
Accessibly-written articles and blogs are an effective way for communicating your research. But if you’re a highly-specialised researcher, chances are that many of the terms and concepts you work with every day are unfamiliar to a lay person outside of the discipline. Before you start writing, see if you can figure out any potential barriers to the reader: what might be hard to understand, what’s likely to be new to them, and what key terms will need explaining. Next, use a register, style and tone appropriate to your intended readership. For the general public, a less formal style with clear communication that breaks down difficult concepts is best. Try to avoid jargon and focus on conveying your key points in a way that is engaging for the reader. Depending on your subject, if you can make it entertaining through using puns, fun facts or popular references – then go for it! However you choose to write your article or blog, make sure it’s interesting and informative. You’ve got this! (And if you haven’t, we can help!)
Multimedia: maximum reach
Maximise the impact of your research using a multimedia approach for dissemination. Accessibly written articles and blogs are a fantastic way to get your research out into the public domain, but they are not the only way to effectively communicate your ideas. Animation can help viewers to visualise difficult to grasp concepts or teach effectively a new technique remotely and conveniently. Podcasts are also popular, with millions of potential listeners eager to hear your successes and find out what you have discovered. The best approaches are multifaceted; a multimedia approach that ensures no one misses out on the chance to find out about your research. The more ways your audience can view, read, hear, see, watch, listen, and learn, the more people you stand to reach.
The advent of the internet age has ushered in an era marked by a host of different platforms and ways to publish and promote your work. Social media is a powerful tool for sharing your successes – there has never been a better time to connect others with your research. Once you have your finished blog, article, animation, and/or podcast, make sure to publish it through as many different social media channels as you can. When it’s comes to communicating effectively to the public, Tik Tok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are your friends. Capture the public’s imagination through posting content that ignites their interest in your subject.
Have you got research you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch