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: A Brazilian Initiative To Empower Early-Career Scientists with Science Communication Skills

    Authors: Laura Maria Andrade Oliveira1, Maria Letícia Bonatelli2, Tatiana Castro Abreu Pinto1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Microbiologia Paulo de Goes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 2: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2019 vol. 20 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i1.1616
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    Abstract:

    Communication is fundamental in science. Among scientists, communication skills are required to write a comprehensible scientific manuscript or to prepare an attractive oral presentation. In addition, the ability to communicate successfully with the nonscientific community has been increasingly appreciated, as it represents the most effective way to promote popular scientific literacy. Nevertheless, students majoring in sciencerelated courses are not trained specifically for these purposes, and improving communication skills usually depends on tips and advice given by peers. To this end, we have launched , an initiative that aims to enhance science communication among early-career scientists in Brazil. relies on two major cornerstones: providing online resources via a dedicated website (www.divulgamicro.com.br/index.html) and promoting onsite workshops in universities located in different macro regions of the country. On the website, people can access a collection of fun activities designed to teach scientific concepts to a general audience, along with tips and news regarding public outreach events in Brazil. In the month following its launch, our website had 1,026 visitors from 10 different countries besides Brazil. Regarding the workshops, six were offered during 2018, with nearly 600 attendees. In the course, scientists are presented best practices for scientific writing and oral presentations, as well as techniques to improve communication with lay audiences, such as the use of storytelling structure and analogies. There is a high demand for science communication resources in Brazil, attesting to the importance of initiatives such as in our country.

References & Citations

1. Irion R 2015 Science communication: a career where PhDs can make a difference Mol Biol Cell 26 4 591 593 10.1091/mbc.E14-03-0813 25678584 4325831 http://dx.doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E14-03-0813
2. Gross M 2015 The joy of science communication Curr Biol 25 1 R27 R30 10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.014 25713822 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.014
3. Fischhoff B 2013 The sciences of science communication Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Suppl 3 14033 14039 10.1073/pnas.1213273110 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1213273110
4. Fischhoff B, Scheufele DA 2013 The science of science communication Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Suppl 3 14031 14032 10.1073/pnas.1312080110 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1312080110
5. Fischhoff B, Scheufele DA 2014 The science of science communication II Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Suppl 4 13583 13584 10.1073/pnas.1414635111 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1414635111
6. Angelo C 2016 Brazil’s scientists battle to escape 20-year funding freeze Nature 539 7630 480 10.1038/nature.2016.21014 27882985 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature.2016.21014
7. Angelo C 2017 Scientists plead with Brazilian government to restore funding Nature 550 7675 166 167 10.1038/nature.2017.22757 29022936 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature.2017.22757
8. Massarani L, Moreira IC 2016 Science communication in Brazil: A historical review and considerations about the current situation An Acad Bras Cienc 88 3 1577 1595 10.1590/0001-3765201620150338 27556221 http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201620150338

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2019-04-26
2019-08-21

Abstract:

Communication is fundamental in science. Among scientists, communication skills are required to write a comprehensible scientific manuscript or to prepare an attractive oral presentation. In addition, the ability to communicate successfully with the nonscientific community has been increasingly appreciated, as it represents the most effective way to promote popular scientific literacy. Nevertheless, students majoring in sciencerelated courses are not trained specifically for these purposes, and improving communication skills usually depends on tips and advice given by peers. To this end, we have launched , an initiative that aims to enhance science communication among early-career scientists in Brazil. relies on two major cornerstones: providing online resources via a dedicated website (www.divulgamicro.com.br/index.html) and promoting onsite workshops in universities located in different macro regions of the country. On the website, people can access a collection of fun activities designed to teach scientific concepts to a general audience, along with tips and news regarding public outreach events in Brazil. In the month following its launch, our website had 1,026 visitors from 10 different countries besides Brazil. Regarding the workshops, six were offered during 2018, with nearly 600 attendees. In the course, scientists are presented best practices for scientific writing and oral presentations, as well as techniques to improve communication with lay audiences, such as the use of storytelling structure and analogies. There is a high demand for science communication resources in Brazil, attesting to the importance of initiatives such as in our country.

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FIGURE 1

Map of Brazil showing the five macro regions of the country and the places and dates of the six science communication workshops offered by in 2018.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2019 vol. 20 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i1.1616
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