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Have You Heard?

A group of scientists at Manchester has been working to provide the public with the tools to clear the haze that often surrounds scientific news stories in this troubling era of 'fake news'.

Have You Heard? infographic.

The Have You Heard? project was created by Kirsty McIntyre, Mike Daniels, Katie Walwyn-Brown, Donna Littlewood, Jack Barton and Aidan Rooney in 2017.

The project has reached out to local community groups across Greater Manchester, including Bury, Wythenshawe, Handforth and Longsight.

The scientists involved have run interactive sessions that discuss recent science news stories and use activities to demonstrate how a piece of scientific research eventually becomes a newspaper headline.

As a result of these discussions, the project team have co-developed an infographic with four easy tips for reading science in the news for dissemination both online and via paper flyers.

The project has created a space where people in the community – from retirement communities to mental health support groups – can ask questions about science stories they have come across and learn how to separate fact from exaggeration.

Collated feedback from these sessions highlights the value of the project:

  • 58% had never attended a science festival or event before;
  • 90% found the sessions interesting and enjoyable;
  • 77% learned something new.

In addition to running face-to-face sessions, the project team have developed a website that hosts information about the project, an active blog about science news stories and visits to community groups, and useful links to existing online resources for reading science in the news.

As the project has grown, the team have expanded their reach through the distribution of the infographic and ongoing development of new media platforms, including a podcast.

More information can be found on the Have You Heard? website.