Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
Our most recent ‘Standing up for Science’ media workshop was open to early career researchers in all sciences, engineering and medicine, and held at the University of Manchester on 15th March 2013.
To start the 2013 Manchester workshop our scientists panel talked about their own experience with the media – from a press release that had a life of its own, to those stories you might rather forget. But Professor Matthew Cobb’s main message of the session was: ‘Just say “yes”’. At worst it’s good practice, but often working with the media can lead to great opportunities.
In the journalists session our panellists responded to concerns raised by participants in group work. Their tips included getting in touch with journalists in advance, and explaining your research as you would to someone in a pub. And be available – you won’t be in the media if you don’t pick up that phone.
For the final session Sarah Blackford (Head of Education & Public Affairs, Society for Experimental Biology) shared how learned societies can help you with media training and are also a route to have your writing published. There were lots of tips on how it can be easy for early career researchers to get involved in public discussion about science.
Comments from participants:
"Excellent access to practical advice from people with experience."
"I hadn’t appreciated how helpful the press office could be and how friendly the journalists would be towards scientists."
"Really informative and covered many aspects that I had poor prior knowledge in – especially journalists’ point of view."
"I feel I would want to enter debates and make people aware of my work."
"Quite inspiring" "A brilliant day" "Really interesting"
Read a Storify of tweets from the Manchester 2013 workshop.
Megan Thomas, PhD student in Earth Sciences at the University of Liverpool, shared her experience of the workshop on her blog Geomagnetism.
Ivette Negrete, a researcher at the University of Birmingham, wrote about the workshop on her blog The Biological Flask.
Louise Walker, PhD student in Cell Organisation and Dynamics at the University of Manchester, shared what she learnt at the workshop on the blog The Brain Bank.
Sibylle Thies blogged about her thoughts following the workshop.
Calum Waterson, a PhD student in Chemistry, wrote an article about what he learnt at the workshop.
With thanks to all our partners:
Association for Clinical Biochemistry, Beltane Public Engagement Network, Biochemical Society, Edinburgh Napier University, Elsevier, Heriot Watt University, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, Manchester Metropolitan University, Medical Research Council, Physiological Society, Queen Margaret University, Society for Applied Microbiology, Society for Endocrinology, Society for General Microbiology, University of Edinburgh, including our host the University of Manchester.
Applications now open: 'Standing up for Science' media workshop at the Society of Biology in London on Friday 14th June. See the workshop flyer for further details and how to apply. Applications close 31st May 2013.
The most recent Standing up for Science media workshop was on 15th March at the University of Manchester. See photos and comments from the day.
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