1 comment on “Elsevier Researchers’ Choice Communication Award – nominate your peers by May 17th, 2018!”

Elsevier Researchers’ Choice Communication Award – nominate your peers by May 17th, 2018!

“Science is not finished until it’s communicated”

Just before Easter Elsevier launched the Researchers’ Choice Communication Award RCCA #RCCA2018. They’d be delighted if you would encourage your faculty departments and your student groups to nominate their outstanding early career researchers and peers via Mendeley, the social network for scientists. There are several ways you can do this:

  • Share this Mendeley blog post on your own channels
  • Circulate or print-out the attached poster and display around campus
  • Leave copies of the flyer in your library or other student study areas

You can also follow Elsevier on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn for the latest updates and more shareable content.

The winner, chosen by their judging panel, will be announced at the awards ceremony in the presence of UK research leaders and the CEO of Elsevier on 4th October at the Royal Society in London. Chairman of the ceremony is President and Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University and Fulbright Commissioner, Professor Colin Riordan.

Nominating a researcher for the RCCA – How does it work?

  • Nominations open on Wednesday 28th March 2018
  • Post the nomination directly to the dedicated Mendeley group
  • Those new to Mendeley will either need to sign up for a free account or email nominations to ecrawards@kaizo.co.uk
  • You cannot nominate yourself
  • Include the following information as part of the nomination:
    • Name
    • Age
    • Institution
    • Summary of nomination (250 words max)
    • Links to evidence of good work (e.g. research, speeches, blog posts, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) Only content clearly listed as part of the nomination will be used for final review
  • Nominations will be accepted until Thursday 17th May 2018

The winner will be announced at this year’s Awards ceremony at the Royal Society in London on 4th October 2018.

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STFC launches Interact 2017 Evaluation Report in partnership with UoB

University of Birmingham, together with STFC, Institute of Physics and SEPnet are proud to launch the evaluation report from Interact 2017. Interact 2017 was a symposium whose aim was to cultivate a community of engagement practitioners within the physical sciences who develop high quality STEM engagement and encourage a culture of strategic and reflective practice.

The symposium was a success with over 120 physical scientists from across the UK attending and sharing best practice. The symposium is also measuring its impact on these scientists through a yearlong evaluation process, the baseline of which can be found in the report.

In addition to this, the report showcases the rich landscape for Outreach and Public Engagement that currently exists in the physical sciences across the UK and sets good measures for its continued development.

The symposium also featured plenary speakers Prof Alice Roberts (University of Birmingham), and SEPnet’s Prof Jim Al Khalili (University of Surrey) talking about their careers as engaged researchers and science communicators.

30 parallel sessions were on offer at Interact 2017 and most of these were delivered by physicists. This shows how the Interact partnership is promoting best practice across physics departments in the UK.

If you missed the day and would like to get a feel for it, check out his video from the Institute of Physics which features SEPnet’s Director of Outreach and Public Engagement, Dr Dominic Galliano.

For more information, feel free to contact the UoB Interact team members: Dr Caroline Gillett & Professor Cristina Lazzeroni by dropping us an email: engage@contacts.bham.ac.uk

 

 

Science & Religion – BSA Science Communication Masterclass (10-11 May)

The British Science Association and Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum, are pleased to announce a free, two-day workshop on Science Communication and Religion.

The event is particularly recommended for science communicators with an interest in religion and faith, or those working with emotive or sometimes controversial themes.

You can read more about the project here:http://sciencereligionspectrum.org/about-2

The event aims to:

  • Improve familiarity and literacy in communicating on science and religion
  • Explore areas of faith, trust, belief, and religion in science communication
  • Support attendees to develop new outputs, partnerships and projects

Sessions will be led by science communication practitioners and academics from a variety of disciplines researching the intersection of science and religion in public spaces. The sessions will be framed by preliminary data from the Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum project and there will be practical exercises built around case-studies, proposals and evaluation plans. The full programme will be released over the next few weeks, with sessions including:

  • Storytelling: balancing narrative and ‘truth’
  • Hosting constructive debates
  • Science and religion, past and present
  • Partnerships and participation: an external perspective
  • Beyond box ticking: The evaluation, revision, and re-delivery cycle
  • Trust in science, trust in sci-comm? Moving the conversation forward

Presenters and panelists include: Dr Alexander Hall (Newman University), Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker (Newman University), James Riley (Rising Ape), Ivvet Modinou (British Science Association), Charlotte Hale (FLUX: Moving Science), Brian Lobel (Sick of the Fringe) , and more to be announced.

The event is free to attend, including travel and accommodation costs associated with attendance. Places are limited, so early-sign-up is encouraged. A deposit of £15 is payable to secure your place on this event, which will be refunded upon attendance.

Note that this workshop is funded by the Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum project. Attendance, travel, and accommodation are provided free of charge on the understanding that participants contribute to the workshop debates and engage with the project’s research. Post workshop there will be opportunities for attendees to create science communication materials and outputs related to the workshop content and wider research findings of the project.

For information and to sign up go HERE 

Image & content: British Science Association

WT Engaging Science Conference 2016: Take home messages

PERC recently attended the Wellcome Trust’s Engaging Science conference help on April 20th, 2016 at Wellcome Collection. The event brought together researchers, public engagement and scicomm workers, creatives and more to discuss how science can be made more engaging for those who do it, for the public and for seldom heard audiences. Key topics included top tips for collaboration, improving diversity and dealing with ethical issues.

The take home messages of each of the sessions were captured live by cartoon artists, so take a look at the photos below! Many thanks to Wellcome for the invite to attend such an interesting and inspiring day.

In praise of storytelling – three ways that communication has made me a better scientist

 a Neuroscience Doctoral Candidate, Penn State College of Medicine talks to THE CONVERSATION about how science communication has made her a better scientist. You can read the full article over at THE CONVERSATION, but we have a quick overview below:

“Scientists are often told to reach out to general audiences about their research for the public’s benefit:

We need to establish trust! Taxpayers deserve to understand where their money is going! We need to clear up misconceptions about GMOs and vaccines and climate change!

While these arguments are absolutely true, many scientists find this hard to do. Science communication can become a time-consuming side job. And for many, such a responsibility to the general public can be extremely daunting.

But it’s okay for scientists to practice their communication skills for non-philanthropic reasons, too. Despite my initial college lab experience, telling stories as a science communicator today has made me a much, much better scientist in a few unexpected ways.”

1. I read more and write more. So I read and write better.

While it’s impossible to know everything that’s going on at all times, being a science communicator has helped enormously. Scouting for story ideas or researching for a piece means I’m constantly coming across new findings, new methods and new hypotheses. Being active on social media, particularly Twitter, has introduced me to the diverse work of my journalistic peers, too.

But perhaps the best part is this: writing is significantly easier and infinitely less daunting than it used to be. Sitting down to write is hard, and finding your voice is harder. But the more one writes – whether a short, snarky blog post or a 12-page grant application – the easier and better it gets.

2. Simplifying my work makes for better conversations

Here’s a confession that many scientists may relate to, but few may admit: when I attend a talk outside my field, I’m lucky if I understand 50% of what is going on.

The purpose of science communication is to simplify, but not dumb down, your work so that the average non-scientist can understand it. Nowadays, when I design posters or oral presentations, I aim to do the same thing regardless of whether I’m introducing my work to scientists or non-scientists. My research posters, in fact, are almost laughably simple. Well under 200 words, with large, blocky figures, at first glance they may resemble a high school science project – certainly not a typical graduate student’s work at an international conference.

Since applying what I’ve learned from being a science communicator, my conference poster experience has completely changed. I’m frequently bombarded by a non-stop stream of scientists from all different fields, never having more than a free minute or two to sneak a swig of water. The best part is that because they understand what’s on the paper, our discussions can go deeper.

3. Unique opportunities and credibility

Since college, I’ve wanted to attend the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, the largest gathering of neuroscientists worldwide. This year, I got to do just that thanks to a travel stipend through the SfN Science Journalism Student Award – something I couldn’t have done if, obviously, I hadn’t started my quirky little hobby. In a roundabout way, I was able to attend an event I would have never been able to afford, and I returned to the lab with fresh ideas for my own research.

As people begin to recognise me as an “expert” in my field, I’m solicited for quotes and radio interviews. I’ve made a few odd dollars here and there for writing pieces, supplementing my lavish graduate student lifestyle. I even gave a TED talk in July – something I never imagined I’d have the chance to do.

While certainly not all scientists wish to seek out these types of public displays, it’s exciting to discover the countless venues for us to share our work with others.

So, scientists, here’s the bottom line: if you’re hesitant to reach out to the public due to lack of time, ambivalence, or just not knowing where to start, it’s understandable. It takes a fair bit of work, and it’s not easy. But if you want the chance to expand your horizons, improve your writing, enjoy unique opportunities, and engage more people – scientists and non-scientists alike – you might want to give science communication a shot.

In addition to making your work accessible to the general public, you might be surprised by how much your benchwork benefits, too.

CALLOUT OPEN: LEADING TO ENGAGE (L2E) – All Colleges

RCUK Catalyst Seed Fund:

LEADING TO ENGAGE (L2E)

LEADING TO ENGAGE (L2E) is a pilot programme that will recruit enthusiastic, forward-thinking College representatives with a passion for public engagement with research, civic responsibility and peer-to-peer mentorship. Mid-career candidates are invited to nominate themselves for inclusion in the cohort. Nominations will be reviewed by the Public Engagement with Research Committee (PERC) who will confirm the appropriateness of candidates with Heads of School/College and Directors of Research, who will make final decisions.

Expressions of interest should be sent to Public Engagement with Research Officer, Dr Caroline Gillett c.d.t.gillett@bham.ac.uk  ideally by December 22nd, 2015. Please put ‘L2E’ in the title of your email and provide a brief paragraph explaining your motivation for applying as well as any relevant experience you might already have doing public engagement. [The opportunity is not suitable for PhD/Masters students or Teaching Only staff].

The programme will take a maximum of four candidates per College, therefore candidates are encouraged to get in touch as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to seek approval from DORs etc. The L2E cohort will be announced in early-mid January.

The Programme is designed to catalyse culture change for public engagement with research within the Colleges, using a sustainable model which will enable candidates to take ownership of public engagement with research strategy within their College, helping lead College direction in this area with support from PERC and other relevant parties. The cohort will be invited to join PERC and it is hoped that PERC minutes will feed into Research and Research & Knowledge Transfer Committees.

Candidates are reminded that participation in the Programme will require a definite time commitment which they should be aware of before applying. There will be different phases to the Programme: