The Science Communication workshop was an exploration of the pitfalls and joys of trying to communicate science to the general public via a media who seem determined to misrepresent what we are doing at every opportunity. Apparently if there is any scope at all to mention the Bermuda Triangle, the emperor Ming or spiteful murdering of aged clams, that is what they will do, leaving the original research far, far behind. Michael Carroll and James Scourse entertained us with their own personal experiences, the take-home message being that in the fullness of time all publicity is good publicity but it’s still best to try to keep control of the process and have a site with the real story set up in case of disaster.
Ana Bedalov, who organises the Researchers’ Nights in Split, gave a very entertaining talk about involving children and young people in science, capping it off by slinging a paper tablemat across the room and brealing a glass with it. Kudos!
Interactive exercises were very entertaining and I hope informative as well. Some of us definitely have hidden talents as interviewers. And selling science to a range of disparate types from professional footballers to toddlers turned out to be a piece of cake once you had worked out what made them tick (in the case of toddlers, that’s a piece of cake)
We have some very short movie clips from the public engagement exercise here (warning – these are a bit random and my camerawork is shaky):
More professionally, we had a visit from the Croatian news magazine HRT Na zahtjev (our clip starts at 27:20)
(Technical note – the programme seemed to load very slowly on Firefox and much more quickly on Safari)