Communicating ongoing research in fields as complex as modern physics to a broader audience is challenging. Nonetheless, this skill becomes increasingly important with a growing number of funding bodies requesting outreach activities to be part of a research project. Institutions dedicated to the interdisciplinary qualification of early career researchers only recently recognized a high demand in trainings for science communication. However, even though PhD students and Postdocs now increasingly attend workshop that cover the basics of science communication, most of them do not engage in outreach activities. Creating their own blog, podcast or video channel appears too time-consuming.
PIER, the strategic partnership between DESY and Universität Hamburg, thus piloted a special project. „Science Chatter Hamburg“ is a platform which can be used by researchers from all career stages at DESY and Universität Hamburg to publish their blog posts right now and potentially podcast episodes in the future. For kicking off the blog, a 2-day workshop was offered through the PIER Education Platform in March 2021. Participants in this workshop discussed examples of physics blog posts and which different functions they have. They also learned basics of writing for a broader audience and the technical setup of a modern blog. Most importantly, however, they were given enough time to write their very own blog posts which they directly published at https://science-chatter.blogs.uni-hamburg.de/. Without the need to spend time setting up their own platform, they were rewarded with a link to their published blog posts. Some participants shared this link via their social media platforms or with their international peers and collaborators.
Science Chatter Hamburg thus combines qualification of early career researchers with outreach work. With science communication becoming an increasingly important asset both within and beyond the academic career path, the participants benefit double. Apart from the training, they receive a showpiece and increase their visibility. Last but not least, the public gets the chance to consume authentic points of view from within academic research. This is of note, since evidence suggests that more trust might be given to science when communicated by active researchers instead of professionals in PR departments.
Science Chatter Hamburg is open for contributions from DESY and Universität Hamburg researchers from the PIER research fields particle and astroparticle physics, photon science, nanoscience, infection and structural biology, theoretical physics and accelerator research.
|First author||Theresa Schredelseker|
|Collaboration / Activity||PIER|