“Science and everyday life cannot and
should not be separated.”
Communicating science to nonspecialist audiences is something scientists do almost every day, be that from writing grant applications and teaching students to participating in public outreach events or speaking to their company’s upper management. Yet knowing how to communicate science effectively to these different groups is a skill not always taught in school.
Below are some useful resources on communicating science effectively to nonspecialist audiences.
Science communication: What it is and how to do it
Science communication is the practice of informing, educating, and raising awareness of science-related topics to a variety of audiences.
The resources below will help you understand the history and importance of the science communication field, and provide you tips on good communication practices that come in useful regardless of the audience to whom you are speaking.
Public outreach: Best practices and examples
Science popularization is the subset of science communication whose audience is the general public. The goal of science popularization is to inform and foster a scientific way of thinking among the general public because “At a time when so many decisions are being made on the basis of science, it is becoming increasingly important to inform the public about the issues at stake.” (UNESCO science popularization program)
Public outreach—particularly science demos—are an important part of science popularization that universities play a big role in coordinating and performing. Below are resources that explain best communication practices for outreach and provide a list of good science demos and activities (with an emphasis on materials science).
Writing grants: Strategies for successful proposals
Funding is essential for conducting scientific research. In academia, funding is often secured through grants, yet many students are not explicitly trained in how to write successful grant proposals.
The resources below offer strategies and recommendations for writing clear, precise grant proposals.