Restricted funding for science, and tougher competition for grants and sponsorships worldwide, highlight the need to enhance the profile of researchers and their organisations. A successful strategy to achieve this goal is for scientists, technologists and engineers to master the art of science communication.
Peter Spinks holds a master’s degree in research psychology and has published in international academic journals. Since 1980, he has broadcast and written for leading media organisations, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Guardian and The Observer newspapers and New Scientist magazine in London.
Peter has been a staff journalist at The Age newspaper in Australia since 1996, writing his weekly online science column, including video segment “Science Matters”.
As well as the column, Peter presents an ongoing science series, which grew out of reader interest in the “big questions” raised in his column and video presentations. The series takes the form of live events in which a panel of experts addresses an audience of invited guests on important subjects. The events are filmed – sometimes live-streamed – and then broadcast in several parts across online platforms in Australia.
Topics on offer:
- A-Z of science writing (A comprehensive checklist – with examples – for crafting science articles and features; includes what to do before, during and after writing, prompts for formulaic copy, the art of creating structure, when and how to use fitting analogies and indispensable advice on improving grammar, punctuation, word use and style. When implemented, these techniques will also maximise the chance of academic papers making it through review without revision)
- Editing with ease (Essential procedures for checking and editing scientific copy; includes the composing of clear and accurate headlines, titles and catchy captions)
- Finding angles (What makes science fascinating; 10 key selection criteria to consider when communicating science, technology and engineering)
- Tapping top sources (How writers find leads when selecting and researching articles)
- Getting the picture (Preparing material for static and interactive graphics, illustrations, photographs and videos)
- Science in action (Short writing exercises and oral presentations, with hands-on instruction and constructive feedback)
- The science interview (Twenty simple rules to follow when preparing for all interviews; plus assertiveness training and useful techniques for de-stressing, calming frayed nerves and dealing with interview phobias)
- Going live (Tips for tackling radio, video and TV interviews, with voice and gesture coaching and methods for handling controversy or sometimes hostile reporters; includes role-play exercises and the recording and review of simulated interviews)
- On or off? (When to speak on or off the record during challenging interviews)
- Talking about science (Personal training in the delivery of entertaining and informative talks and podcasts about scientific research to peers and laypeople alike; includes PowerPoint advice and the review of recorded mock talks)
- Blockbusters (How to produce your own short but sweet science videos and movies)
- The media release (The theory and practice of “dream-weaving” compelling media alerts and releases; includes templates, a selection of good and bad examples, devices for imposing embargoes and proven tactics for distributing releases)
- Our digital world (The way digital multimedia have transformed the publishing landscape, including research on the print-digital divide)
- Blogging made simple (Fundamental skills for building brilliant blogs)
- A matter of opinion (Penning opinion pieces and book reviews for newspapers, magazines and online publications)
- Facts and figures (Snapshots of the global publishing industry)
- Vetting (How to check and cross-check articles and features)
- Media mangles (When things go awry)
- Writing and the law (Legal issues affecting authors; includes codes of ethics, defamation and the latest trends in international copyright law)
- Planning ahead (Forming a proactive and all-embracing game-plan for public engagement, along with a user-friendly database of experts)
- Selling science (Creating persuasive marketing platforms using social media)
- The art of ePublishing (Writing a science eBook, incorporating video and audio clips plus animations)
- Writing it up (Practical advice on structuring, writing and illustrating doctoral theses)
- Publish or perish (The art of producing successful scientific research papers – and skills needed for presenting them at conferences)
- Gaining grants (Strategies for preparing successful grant-funding applications)
- Freelance toolkit (How to become an independent science or technical writer; includes science writers’ responsibilities, the business of pitching stories and negotiating contracts)
- Bibliofile (Recommended reading on important subjects)
See full details at: http://scienceoutreachworkshops.weebly.com/