Image: Script training by SciDev.Net includes helping scientists communicate their research to the media more effectively ©: SciDev.Net).


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Helping African researchers to promote their research

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  • Script gave training to the researchers to help them effectively communicate their research.
  • Topics included practical ways to simplify scientific information without compromising its meaning.

Script has delivered science communication training to talented African early career researchers recognised by The Royal Society for having the potential to become leaders in their field.

The Royal Society is a Fellowship of more than 1,600 of the world’s most eminent scientists. It is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

The society published Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, and Benjamin Franklin’s kite experiment demonstrating the electrical nature of lightning.

Training future leaders

Script, SciDev.Net’s science communication training programme, provided support to 60 recipients of the society’s Future Leaders – African Independent Research Fellowships (FLAIR).

Script gave training to the researchers to help them effectively communicate and promote their research to policymakers and the public.

A range of topics were explored as part of the Script training delivered to FLAIR programme researchers.

Topics included practical ways to simplify scientific information without compromising its meaning.

Other topics aimed to help the researchers build their profiles and share their findings on social media.

Helping researchers to promote their research findings

The ultimate aim was to equip the participants with the necessary skills and confidence to promote their research findings to a range of audiences. This would include policymakers who have the ability to influence change from research recommendations.

SciDev.Net’s Operations Director Paul Dawson, said, “Script is honoured to be associated with such a prestigious organisation as The Royal Society.

“It is linked with so many eminent scientists of the past four centuries – from Newton to Darwin, Hawking and beyond.

“The FLAIR programme aligns with our own mission of supporting Africa’s emerging and established scientists to communicate and promote their research not only within their own continent but also further afield.”

At the conclusion of the training, SciDev.Net organised a two-hour networking event to allow the FLAIR researchers to meet experienced journalists and to put to practice the process of sharing with them their research.

The researchers that participated in the training said it was both informative and motivating.

“I’ve been going away from social media lately because I thought it was very time consuming. I didn’t really see the benefits of putting things on social media. But I’m considering it now after the modules we had, and after talking about the visibility of our research work”, said a participant.

Since its inception in 2018 at the Next Einstein Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, Script has provided training to nearly 9,000 people either directly in person or online.

Science communication courses and guides

Featured courses, produced by SciDev.Net’s Training Coordinator Dr Charles Wendo, include ‘Science communication skills for journalists,’ ‘Media skills for scientists’ and ‘Science communication skills for press officers.’

Also included in the Script website are eight practical guides: ‘How to give a good science talk anywhere’, ‘How to report the science of COVID-19,’ ‘How to give a science flash talk,’ ‘How to report scientific findings,’ ‘How to find the right journalist to report on your research,’ ‘How to convince the media to report about your research,’ ‘How to report from lab visits and field trips,’ and ‘How to become a star journalist from scratch.’

Script currently has six partners made up of some of the most forward-thinking media and academic institutions in Africa. These include Nasarawa State University, Nigeria, Makerere University, Uganda, Moi University, Kenya, The University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Nation Media Group and Vision Group. Script has also worked with Radio Nigeria and The Conversation Africa.

Script provides a number of free training and networking resources for journalists, scientists and anyone who wants to communicate science in an engaging and accurate way. As well as in-depth bespoke training.