There are many researchers who just get it when it comes to research communication. The best of these are not just focused on their Kardashian index (love this tongue-in-cheek article), but are people who are passionate and open about what they do.
Personally, my most influential example is my PhD supervisor @carolinefinch – who has probably encouraged me a tad too much when it comes to using social platforms to make connections and share my research message.
- This @TEDTalks from @DavidEpstein is really excellent: Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger? Weaving narrative with science is a skill we should all learn
- 7 quick thoughts coming up on the importance of #science communication, stimulated by @davidepstein‘s #TEDtalk
- Scientists need to take more ownership of the wider communication & translation of knowledge. Otherwise they’re doing only half their job
- This means they must pay attention to, & work on, understanding how people want to receive complex messages, & learn how to deliver them
- It’s difficult only because research is often not purpose-driven enough, with a clear need. Communicating without relevance is impossible
- Why hope that your life’s work will make a broader impact thanks to someone else (assuming you want this), when you can own it yourself?
- Failing to do this leaves doors open for misrepresentation of science. For every Epstein, there are dozens of Syed/Gladwell examples
- That said, we aren’t marketers or salespeople. Balance between accuracy & appeal is tricky. Being relevant does not trump being right
- Find even 1 way to make your important work understandable or “sticky”. You won’t be selling your soul, you’ll just expand your influence
Two superstars when it comes to research communication are @thesiswhisperer of thesiswhisperer.com fame, and @AstroKatie of astrokatie.com – in my opinion they are very good examples of how online platforms can be used to become the voice in your field.
Another sport scientist who I have learnt a lot from is @jacquietran of jacquietran.com. I met her for the first time only recently at the Be Active conference after being in communication with her for a while on Twitter. We have written a blog post together on workflow and productivity. Jacquie is known for her excellent sketchnotes:
Your online presence cannot be avoided, and is not just about personal branding anymore – it has evolved to be more than that. Don’t worry about your professional and personal profiles, just be yourself!