Science Communication and Advocacy Workshop

“All You Need Is Love…And A Little Help From Your Friends.”
A Science Communication and Advocacy Workshop
Jason A. Tetro, Advocacy Officer, CAN

Wednesday, May 31st 2017 – 12 noon.

Registration limited to 30 trainees.  Register at the same time you register for the main meeting.

Summary:

Science communication and advocacy have become a necessity as translation of data and evidence in peer-reviewed journals is no longer satisfactory for many funding bodies, policy makers, and media. This 90 minute workshop will provide participants the fundamental skills to translate their research for non-scientists. The audience also will learn the most important factors required for effective science communication and advocacy as well as have an opportunity to practice these skills.

Objectives:

After completing the workshop, participants will:

  1. Recognize the need for translation to non-scientists;
  2. Learn how to perform basic translation into headlines;
  3. Learn how to effectively communicate research to various target audiences;
  4. Appreciate the role of advocacy in communication efforts.

Outline:

1. Opening Presentation: “From Lab Bench To Headline News.”
Length: 15 minutes
This presentation will first explore the need for science translation by showing the difference between academic and non-academic language. This will be followed by an explanation of what people of all target areas want to see, headlines. The participants will then be shown how to translate scientific findings into meaningful headlines. The audience will also learn the value of group work to achieve the best results and also how to avoid the pitfall of hype.

2. Tabletop Session: “Make Your Own Science Headline.”
Length: 45 minutes
Participants will be given time to develop their own research headlines present their work. This exercise is intended to be fun and explore the joy of creativity.

3. Practical Session: “All You Need Is Love…”
Length: 30 minutes (depending on time)
Expanding on the headline approach, participants will be introduced to the fundamental skills needed to develop pitches, articles, and other means of effective communication. Challenges associated with the exercise will be examined, as well as other well-known obstacles to effective communication. The solution will then be presented: love, which is the key to effective communication and advocacy.

4. Homework: “Show Us Your Love.”
Length: 10 minutes
Participants will be asked to develop their own form of communication/advocacy in the form of writing or other form of media. They will be invited to send them to Jason for feedback, editing, and polishing. The media, once finalized, then will appear (with approval) on the CAN website.