Not all science communication is equal

More people than ever before are getting involved in science communication, which aims to engage non-experts, but unfortunately not all of it is high quality or effective. There are a number of basics to master if you want yours to have the right impact. This course walks you through the art of communicating science, the six elements of good science communication, and looking beyond communicating.
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What you'll learn

By the end of the course you’ll be able to

  • Explain science communication

    Learn what science communication is and the impact it can have

  • Deliver high quality science communication

    Discover the key elements of good science communication and how to apply them

  • Explore the wider science communications environment

    Find out where to access ideas and resources, and how to get involved

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction

    • About You
    • About You: Survey
    • Welcome to The Basics of Science Communication
    • Resources for the Course
    • Course Workbook
  • 2

    The Art of Communicating Science

    • What is Science Communication?
    • The Power of Science Communication
    • The Six Key Elements of Science Communication
    • Example: Health and Safety Poster
    • Example: Poster Improvements
    • QUIZ 1 Introduction
    • QUIZ 1
    • TASK 1 Introduction
    • TASK 1 Worksheet
    • Recap
    • TASK 1 Outline
  • 3

    What, Why & Who?

    • What, Why & Who: Overview
    • Review of Task 1
    • Element 1: What do You Want to Communicate?
    • Example: Main Message and Aims
    • Element 2: Identify Your Target Audience
    • Example: Audiences
  • 4

    Get Your Message Right

    • Element 3: Develop a Clear Message (1)
    • Element 3: Develop a Clear Message (2)
    • Element 4: Balance Accuracy with a Good Story
    • Tips for Getting Your Messages Right
  • 5

    Choose Your Communication Channel

    • Element 5: Choose the Best Channels and Methods of Engagement
    • Example: Channels
    • TASK 2 Introduction
    • TASK 2 Worksheet
    • TASK 2 Outline
  • 6

    Demonstrate Your Impact

    • Demonstrate Your Impact: Overview
    • Review of Task 2
    • Element 6: Evaluate the Impact of Your Communication
    • Example: Evaluation Measures
    • Recap
  • 7

    Beyond Communicating

    • Communication versus Engagement
    • Finding Ideas
    • Get Connected and Keep Learning
    • QUIZ 2 Introduction
    • QUIZ 2
  • 8

    Course Takeaways

    • Course Takeaways
    • Course Completion
    • Feedback

About the course leader

Alexis Willet, PhD

This course is led by Alexis Willett, PhD. Alexis, owner and director of Punch Consulting, has 20 years’ experience in communications, engagement and health policy, supporting organisations around the world. She’s an award-winning author of a broad range of publications, including popular science books. Her work has featured in major media outlets including The Guardian, BBC Science Focus, The iPaper, The Observer, HuffPost, Psychologies magazine, The Bookseller and The Scotsman. She gained her PhD in biomedical science from the University of Cambridge, also holds MSc and BA (Hons) degrees, and was a lecturer in biomedical science at Anglia Ruskin University. She’s an experienced media spokesperson and has appeared on the BBC, Sky News and CNN International, amongst many other TV and radio channels. Here, she shares her industry-recognised expertise to teach you the basics of developing and delivering high quality, effective science communications.

Course features

  • Access anywhere, anyhow, anytime

    Our courses are available on PC, Mac, tablet and mobile and can be accessed at any time that suits you

  • Multimedia tools and resources

    Learn through on-demand videos, articles, downloadable resources, quizzes and assignments. Join conversations and share ideas in our closed group forum

  • Confirmation of completion

    Receive digital confirmation of course completion

Who is this course for?

  • Anyone wanting to communicate science to non-experts in an effective way

  • Anyone wishing to understand the principles of science communication

  • Anyone interested in science and learning something new

What else do I need to know?

  • Are there any course requirements?

    Anyone is welcome to participate in this course and no prior science knowledge is required. Being a science communicator means you also have to identify the science you want to share, critique its quality in the context of other findings, know where to find quality information, what to draw together, and how to find the right story in the research. These aspects are not covered in this course. The Basics of Science Communication course assumes you already have your science information in place; that is, you have your findings, have already critiqued the evidence and are ready to share it with a wider audience.

  • How long will it take to complete the course?

    The course takes approximately 7 hours to complete. But you can pause your learning at any time and pick up where you left off later to allow you to work at your own pace. By the end of the course we hope you’ll have gained the basic skills to feel more confident in your science communications, as well as be more successful.

Make sure your science communications have the right impact

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