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Becoming a master science communicator

By Claire White

Researcher Claire White with a science communication course group.Throughout my PhD, I was heavily involved in coordinating my research group's public engagement activities, where I helped develop a set of interactive activities and showcased these at local schools and science festivals.

Towards the end of my PhD, I became aware that my public engagement practices were all self-taught, and I didn't have any formal training.

To gain some professional science communications training, I applied to the ISSF fund to support my attendance at the Science Communication Masterclass, hosted by the University of West England.

In November 2019, I headed down to Bristol for an intensive four-day course. The course gave a broad overview of all the different aspects that make up the science communication landscape, from large-scale citizen science projects to independent science writing.

This broad approach allowed me to identify with the aspects I was familiar with, where I was able to reflect on previous projects. Learning about completely new forms of science communication made me think about how I could introduce these new methods to my own practices.

It was such a refreshing experience to step out of the lab and to be able to take the time to focus solely on improving my science communication skills. Furthermore, it was a pleasure to spend these four days with like-mind course delegates with whom I could share my practice and learn from.

Ultimately, the masterclass has increased my confidence and I am looking forward to incorporating my new skills into future projects.

Learn more about and apply for the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF): Public engagement funding scheme calls.