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Soft skills development

Marketing your Research by Lennart Wesel

As researchers, we are deeply invested in our work, yet presenting our findings in an accessible and engaging way to diverse audiences, both online and offline, can be quite challenging. Striking a balance between avoiding overly technical language and not oversimplifying the significance of our research is essential.

During this 4-hour workshop, PhD candidates and Postdocs participated in a series of dynamic exercises that integrated group discussions, writing tasks, and creative thinking activities. They practised delivering self-introductions in a speed-dating format, identified the fundamental values of their research and discussed what platforms are useful for scientists to engage with the public on.

You can find more information about Lennart Wesel on his website: https://expertexpert.nl/

“Communicating with the general public is probably more important (and more easy) than one thinks!”

Anonymous participant

“I liked that the workshop was tailored to what the participants requested.”

Anonymous participant

Categories
Soft skills development

Engaging in Public Conversations by Sem Barendse

As a scientist, one of your responsibilities is to report your findings and communicate them to your desired audience. This is often done through scientific articles published in journals. However, sharing your science with a non-scientific community can be challenging. It requires simplifying your findings, omitting important nuances, and negotiating your position as an expert, which may risk engaging in "false balance" conversations.

The workshop provided valuable tools to address these dilemmas. Initially, we explored various roles of a science communicator. Are you inclined to be a "fact-maker," solely reporting new studies, or would you consider participating in talk shows, podcasts, and engaging in public debates? Subsequently, we identified crucial factors, including uncertainty, values, emotions, framing, and more, essential for delivering your message effectively. Finally, the workshop concluded with a discussion on current opportunities for becoming a science communicator, highlighting the VU's significant efforts in acknowledging science communicators and education.

“Good informal setting! Lots of interactions”

Anonymous participant

“Interactive discussions/"games" ”

Anonymous participant

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