Beyond the press release: New ways to get your research story out

Beyond the press release: New ways to get your research story out

Public information officers and other institutional communicators know the typical life cycle of a science story: scientist writes a paper, gets it published, you put together a press release and hope people pay attention. But how else can you share research with the world? This panel will walk you through some fresh alternatives you and your researchers might not have experimented with yet.

A media relations manager will explain why he thinks it's important to vary his approach in communicating about science and what's worked and what hasn't with researchers at his institution.

An editor from The Conversation US will describe how she collaborates with scholars writing their own stories for the general news website.

An astrophysicist who moonlights as a moderator on the AskScience forum on Reddit will describe how scientists can position themselves as expert "panelists" there and weigh in on related topics. He'll also walk you through how one can participate in an AMA — as in "Ask Me Anything" about an area of expertise or a new discovery.

A neuroscience Ph.D. student who is also a comedian will explain how she uses humor in her science outreach — whether in her "Your Brain on Blank" online video series, her "Drunk Science" comedy show or her social media presence.

We'll share concrete tips and examples on how to get started with these kinds of science outreach projects that collapse the distance between the researcher and the public. We'll take plenty of questions from the audience, while addressing topics including:

  • What's the advantage of stepping out of your comfort zone — and that of your researchers — to try these approaches?
  • What can you say to a scientist who's intimidated or uneasy about speaking directly to the public?
  • What are examples of "success" getting the word out using each of these formats?
Time:
Saturday, October 26th, 1:45 pm to 3:00 pm
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Speaker(s):
Shannon Odell
  Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience, Weill Cornell Medicine + “Your Brain On Blank” + “Drunk Science” + The Science Channel, New York, N.Y.
Michael Lam
  Assistant professor of physics, Rochester Institute of Technology + Reddit's AskScience, Rochester, N.Y.
Arvind Suresh
  Manager, science writing and media relations, UPMC and Pitt Health Sciences, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Moderator(s):
Maggie Villiger
  Senior science + technology editor, The Conversation US, Boston, Mass.
Organizer(s):
Maggie Villiger
  Senior science + technology editor, The Conversation US, Boston, Mass.