Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
The VoYS Standing up for Science media workshops encourage early career researchers to get their voices heard in public debates about science. During the workshops we discuss concerns about speaking to the public and confront misconceptions about how the media works.
Thanks to the support of our VoYS partners, over 100 early career researchers, medics and engineers attend the workshops each year in London, Manchester and Scotland and they continue to be one of the most written about events in the science calendar with publicity led by the early career researchers themselves.
Comments from workshop participants:
“Extremely engaging and interesting day; definitely want to contribute to this sort of cause in whatever way I can in the future.”
“This is what I was waiting for! More of this would be great!”
“Fun, engaging and lively! An excellent opportunity for debate.”
“Totally changed my perspective on the media and where scientists fit into news stories – they aren’t always to blame!”
You can watch more particpants talk about their experience at the workshop on our YouTube channel.
Articles written by early career researchers:
- Society of General Microbiology's journal, Microbiology Today's February 2013 issue
- University of Manchester Skills Training Essentials for PGR Students
- Society of Chemical Industry article
- Raphael Underwood, King's College London blog
- Sarah Shailes, John Innes Centre blog
- Latha Ramakrishnan, Biochemical Society blog
Laura Udakis from the Society for General Microbiology (SGM) recorded a podcast with SGM members at a workshop.
Diana Garnham, CEO of the Science Council: "The VoYS programme enables the partners to deliver training of real value that goes beyond what would be possible from in-house schemes. It also gives added value for the participants because the training days enable them to share and collaborate in developing communication skills with other early career researchers from other sectors and disciplines."
Comments from VoYS partners:
“VoYS workshops are great to introduce Society for General Microbiology members to the workings of the media and to build the confidence and skills they need for talking to journalists. This helps to ensure that all aspects of microbiology are represented in the media in the best possible way.”
"The Society for Endocrinology is really pleased to be able to support the Voice of Young Science programme. As the future ambassadors of hormone science, our young scientists will play an essential role in tackling health conditions of major public concern such as diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis. For this reason it’s important that our younger members are confident and well-equipped to speak to the media about their research."
“The Society for Experimental Biology is very happy to be sponsoring VoYS for the first time this year. Having recently observed one of the Standing up for Science workshops with news reporters from Radio 4 and Nature, we are confident that these events contribute to enhancing communication and understanding between scientists and the public.”
“The Society for Applied Microbiology is a firm believer in supporting all members, but in particular our younger scientists who represent the future voice of applied microbiology. One way we do this is to support the VoYS media workshop – a fascinating and enlightening workshop providing young scientists with an insight into the workings of the news media and preparing them for promoting their science this way. Subsequently, participants are encouraged to sign up to the VoYS network - a network of like-minded young scientists with an interest in wider scientific debates. Every year we receive very positive feedback from workshop attendees who sign up to the network. They all welcome the opportunity to learn how to promote their science and to find their ‘voice’ through participation in public debates about science”.
Top tip 1: Ask for Evidence. If you’re being sold a product or asked to believe a claim then you deserve to know whether it’s based on evidence – or imagination.
Top tip 2: Detox. It’s a marketing myth – our body does it without pricey potions and detox diets.
Top tip 3: Superfood. There is no such thing, just foods that are high in some nutrients.
Top tip 4: Cleansing. You shouldn’t be trying to cleanse anything other than your skin or hair.
Top tip 5: If it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.