Science Communication 101 Workshop

Our next installment in the TSPN 101 workshop series was held on Thursday, 14th March 2019 at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) campus. With the generous support of the UTM Office of the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, we invited Sasha Weiditch (UTM PhD candidate; science communicator) to lead a workshop on how to make science accessible to a broad audience.

After opening remarks by TSPN executive Farah Qaiser, Weiditch began the workshop with her science communication experiences, including using Instagram to share her research, science outreach to the youth, and doing public talks within the community (e.g. TEDxUofT).

Weiditch then shared peer-reviewed evidence behind why you should engage in science communication, citing sources such as a recent Nature Career Column on using Instagram to talk about microbiology, and a 2006 Science paper on how science outreach benefits all involved.

Weiditch then offered a step-by-step process on how to be a science communicator:

  1. Identify why you want to communicate your science.
  2. Understand and address the perception of you towards your audience
  3. Choose your medium (in-person; social media platform)
  4. Share science with thoughtful content

Following the workshop, attendees split into pairs to tackle different science articles. The idea was to turn each article into either a 30 second radio stint, a 300 word-long Instagram post or a 280 character tweet, while conveying passion, excitement and accuracy.

Following the activity, workshop attendees shared their results with Weiditch for feedback. Workshop attendees also commented that science communication wasn’t as straightforward as it looked, but instead required time and careful thinking on how to best to communicate science to different audiences.

This is a link to the workshop material. If you were not able to attend, you can watch the workshop recording below. For best viewing, we recommend viewing slides on a separate browser as you listen to the audio.

TSPN would like to give a big thank you to Sasha Weiditch for sharing her knowledge with the University of Toronto community. We would also like to thank our generous sponsor: the UTM Office of the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who attended and participated in this event. We hope that this event made you consider science in the broader context of science policy!

The TSPN Team

Read the original post about this event:

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