Monday, April 23, 4:00 pm
Virginia Dale Room/University Club
Lory Student Center
Digital repository tools such as DSpace and Fedora are now being widely promoted for the capture and preservation of primary academic research output and many institutions and funders are starting to mandate such processes. In principle this effort can be extended to the data on which scientific research rests and has the potential of generating a huge resource for data-driven practice. In Cambridge, we have started to explore this, and I shall report – with interactive demonstrations – on what is currently possible. (more…)
For some scientists, communicating effectively with the public seems to come naturally. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson currently has more than five million Twitter followers. Astronomer Carl Sagan enraptured audiences for decades as a ubiquitous cosmic sage on American televisions. And Stephen Jay Gould’s public visibility was such that he voiced an animated version of himself on “The Simpsons.” But, for most scientists, outward-facing communication is not something they’ve typically thought about much… let alone sought to cultivate.
But times change. Leaders in the scientific community are increasingly calling on their scientist colleagues to meaningfully engage with their fellow citizens. The hope is that such interactions can improve the science-society relationship at a time when we are confronting a growing list of high-stakes, high-controversy issues including climate change, synthetic biology and epigenetics.
The gauntlet has been issued, but can scientists meet it? (more…)
Science carries an anachronistic burden: a dull and under-developed communication culture. This is a general problem as science needs to be communicated widely and effectively to help solving the challenges of the future. Olle Bergman, engineer-come-communicator, suggests an more progressive mindset, based on “the two Ps”: • Inject more Passion • Learn from the Professionals. With a hands-on approach, Olle Bergman demonstrates some examples from the toolbox of professional communication and points out that a movement is emerging which is breaking the conventions of the traditional scientific culture. Olle Bergman – swedish communications consultant, public speaker & professional writer with a passion for science, language, history & people. Project leader for Crastina – a network of influencers who believe science and tech can be communicated in a more engaged and professional way. Proud Polonium Foundation Ambassador. (more…)
When I was a newspaper science editor, I approached Nobel Prize season with mixed glee and anxiety. Glee, because I knew that, without even an argument, I would get space in the paper for stories about research too arcane to make it into print the other 51 weeks of the year. Like the Academy Awards, the Nobels always get covered, and obscure topics like neutrino metamorphosis and DNA excision repair get their moment to shine, like the folks who win Oscars for sound mixing.
But I felt anxious, too, because my job – as a journalist with no science background – was to make sure those stories would be clear and comprehensible to any reader, and fascinating to more than a few. I wanted them to be stories that would make someone pick up the phone – this was back in the day when people did that – and say, “You’ve got to hear about this.” But journalists are just one leg of the sometimes shaky triangle of science communication, with scientists and the public carrying the other two sides. (more…)
TCC trained 65 participants from various research programmes in Scientific Communication and Publishing and Science Communication and Communicating to Non Scientists.
TCC trained researchers from University of Nairobi, Gertrude Gardens Children Hospital, Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization, AGRA Alliance Research Fellows, Maasai Mara University. The training sessions were held in Kenya and we had participants from Burkina Faso, Togo, Rwanda, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin and Senegal. (more…)
TCC trained 230 participants from various research programmes in Scientific Communication and Publishing, in the 4th quarter of 2017.
TCC trained researchers from University of Nairobi, Gertrude Gardens Children Hospital, AGRA Alliance, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), New Kenya Cooperative Creameries and Strathmore University . (more…)
I am a DAAD scholar pursuing a PhD programme in Chemistry at Makerere University, with interest in medicinal plants. I am currently working on plant species believed to have oxytocic properties.
I was very much privileged to have been invited as one of the participants to attend the 6-day training workshop in “Scientific Communication and Publishing” organized by DAAD and Training Centre in Communication (TCC) – Africa scheduled for 17-22nd September 2017 at Eureka Place Hotel, Kampala Uganda. I can confirm that learning took place with acquisition of new skills, knowledge and change of attitude. (more…)
This training is a “must attend” if one wishes to be a good researcher. These days it is no longer enough to know things but one has to be able to communicate/disseminate that knowledge in the best way possible and this is what the TCC coaches have helped me with for the four days of this training.
It was also a good occasion to meet professors from different universities in Kenya for those of us who are about to start studies in Kenyan universities. This opportunity was of paramount value especially to me. I have had time to interact and network with other students from all over Africa. I hope to get more trainings of this kind to be able to train others when I get back home. (more…)
During the four days of training, I am happy that I was able to enhance my skills and knowledge in different subjects related to science communication. Actually I consider this area as my weakness which needs to be improved as a research scientist.
The most interesting part was the data analysis where we learned the basics for using SPSS, some exercise and also introduction to other software like SAS and R. The second one was scientific writing and publishing; we went through TIMRAD-C in details and, oral communication and presentation. I was so impressed by the methodology used by experienced trainers. (more…)
TCC trained 65 participants from the Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development (BHEARD) programme on Scientific Communication and Publishing. (more…)
Four experts in scientific communication answer four seminal questions about the best ways to communicate science to the public.
SCIENCE journals have become a prime medium to expand scientific knowledge. They have been deployed since the early beginnings of scientific research. We cannot deny the fact that knowledge can only grow through the sharing of the fruits of research. Knowledge will have problem growing otherwise. And in the pursuit of scientific knowledge, journals perform an important function of curating and validating the findings generated by scientists. Over the years, journals have undeniably demonstrated their worth as effective platforms for the communication of science among peers. It is through such communication that new ideas are born. It is also through the writings in the science journals that scientific theories are enriched and improved to eventually develop into technologies which are consequently harnessed by societies for their betterment. (more…)
Bill Nye “The Science Guy” has simplified the complex world of chromosomes and terrestrial layers for students across America for decades. On April 21, Netflix introduced his triumphant return to the world of science education, “Bill Nye Saves the World.” (more…)
The role of social media in science has been hotly debated, with the most recent skirmish coming from a Guardian op-ed. Entitled “I’m a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer,” the article has inspired both a “nonserious” response and ironically, its own set of hashtags: (more…)
Several years ago, actor Alan Alda led about 20 engineering students at the University of Southern California in an improv session. The students gave short talks about their research and then spent three hours trying the same exercises (more…)
The Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) brought together 14 national node Programme Managers to come up with a proposal that would be submitted to the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). This was done at the FANRPAN Common Vision Workshop, held in Nairobi from 26-27 March 2017. The focus areas of the proposal was on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture and Climate Smart Agriculture. (more…)
The Training Centre in Communication facilitated two courses in Scientific Communication and Publishing and Communicating to Non-Scientists in January and February respectively. (more…)
It wasn’t until my fourth year of research in undergrad that I had a strange thought: Am I no longer part of the “general public?” It was an exciting thought — it felt great to be part of some exclusive club in which some of the smartest people were members. My mind was consumed by my research, so much so that I found myself analyzing data and working overtime in the lab instead of studying for my last few classes I needed to graduate. I wish that I had expressed this feeling to the primary investigator of my lab, as I think he would have put things in perspective and deflated my ego. (more…)
In a bid to fully support postgraduate students in universities, the Training Centre in Communication has introduced two new courses , which, help them in improving their literature search and proper use of e-resources (more…)
Communicating about science is a noble profession, and one that’s becoming increasingly and ever more popular. Yet it isn’t the right fit for everyone. I got started in this field about five years ago, and was surprised by many of the things I needed that no one had ever mentioned. Here’s what no one ever tells you you’ll need. (more…)