Communication training for scientists

In February 2013, I organized a weeklong workshop for 90 scientists at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Forest Research and Development Agency of Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry (FORDA), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

The workshop covered:

  • presentation skills;
  • talking to the media;
  • writing blogposts;
  • bibliographic referencing;
  • social media;
  • and a panel discussion for early career scientists as to how to build a successful scientific career.

We ran the training as a series of discrete workshops so scientists could pick and choose the sessions of interest to them. We also tried to make them as practical as possible so scientists could practice the skills as they were learning.

You can find the full agenda here. Training materials from the ‘presenting science’ and media skills workshops are copyright to Econnect Communication so I cannot share them.

We also prepared a blogging guide for scientists. Read it here.

The two major pieces of feedback we received from the scientists who participated were:

  • Run follow up clinics or one-on-one sessions that address specific communication techniques (e.g. writing blogs on our own papers, step by step to set up a Twitter account etc)
  • Run future workshops in other languages such as French or Indonesian