Communicating science is so often focused on transferring knowledge from experts to members of the public. More and more often it is also associate with engaging and communicating with the public. But still with a focus on what the public or the common man gets out of this. But what’s in it for the scientist? How can science communication benefit the researcher personally? Is it just a waste of time and a burden?
These questions are key to module 3 of the course Public Health Science Communication. In preparing for the module, I was surprised of how difficult it was to find literature that focuses specifically on this topic. It is mentioned as a component of science communication but little research put it at the center – at least as far I have been able to find out…
For the course I have included four texts that all touches upon the topic, but doesn’t have it as the main focus:
- Interaction with the mass media – Peters HP, Brossard D, de Cheveigné S, Dunwoody S, Kallfass M, Miller S, Tsuchida S. Science 11 July 2008: Vol. 321 no. 5886 pp. 204-205
- Social media is more than simply a marketing tool for academic research by Amanda Alampi. The Guardian, highereducation network. 24 July 2012
- The Verdict: Is blogging and tweeting about research papers worth it? by Melissa Terras. LSE blog: impact of social sciences. 19 April 2012
- Academic staff and public communication: a survey of popular science publishing across 13 countries – by Peter Bentley and Svein Kyvik. Public Understanding of Science, January 2011 vol. 20 no. 1 48-63
I have later on come across the two articles below, which focus on the costs and benefits of research communication. Both, however, put most attention on the costs and the potential benefits of alternative models for scholarly publishing (e.g. open access) and focuses on to a lesser extend on the benefits of the actual communication of science.
- Research communication costs in Australia, Emerging opportunities and benefits
- Costs and benefits of Research communication: The Dutch Situation (click here for the summary version)
What’s in it for you?
Therefore: In preparation for the course it would be great to receive some inputs from you people out there on how communicating your science has helped YOU. What have the benefits been for YOU? Do they out-weigh any potential disadvantages? If your research could talk – what would it say it got out of you communicating?
Hints to blog posts, book chapters, articles, podcast etc. focusing on this or just your own testimonials will be highly treasured! And will of course be fed back through this blog.