Tell about your research – the 2021 Science Communication Day of the Leibiz PostDoc Network

In 2013, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government famously said that

“Science is not finished until it’s communicated”.

Professor Sir Mark Walport

A track in science communication is increasingly important at every stage of a researcher’s career, from PostDoc to professor, especially when it comes to job evaluations and appointments. Therefore, a full day of virtual science communication awaited the Leibniz PostDocs last Friday, 26 November.

We dived into science communication during pandemic times with Professor Hannah Schmid-Petri, chair for science communication at the University of Passau. She presented facts and figures how research was mediated over the past 18 months, and which topics and people dominated the media. The importance of knowing to whom you are explaining your research was outlined by Dr. Sascha Vogel from science birds. He vividly presented different target groups and even involved the chairs in his lecture to illustrate to the participants how to express different intentions.

In the afternoon, it was time to get active, and participants could choose one out of four practitioner-led workshops:

Presenting complex contexts by scientific podcasts was taught by Diana Erika Lopez Ramirez from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She is running her successful podcast ‘Rompiendo Mitos y Estereotipos de Genero’.

Dr. Susanne Berger from SciComm Atelier visualised science and explained the basics of graphical abstracts.

Simple texts, which can also be understood by non-expert audiences, were in the focus of Dr. Anna Henschel from Wissenschaft im Dialog. She concentrated on simple language and short sentences for lay summaries of publications or third party funding applications.

Daniel Quintana from the University of Oslo helped bringing research to the essential point via Twitter. He runs @dsquintana and in his book ‘Twitter for scientists’ he guides researchers on how to share their findings with the global community.

This science communication day definitely hit a nerve for the almost 80 participating postdocs of the Leibniz Association. In particular, there was an exceptionally high interest in the practice-oriented workshops. We are happy that we as Leibniz PostDoc Network were able to provide this opportunity, and thank the Leibniz Association for funding this event.

Yvette Meißner | DRFZ

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