The British Psychological Society have been running media training courses since 1986 (some 500 ?students? have attended the course to date.) The course is based on two premises. First that scientists need to understand the media culture in order to successfully interact with journalists. Second, that scientists need to practice media skills such as news writing and being interviewed. The tutors for these courses have always been drawn from the media-print, radio/TV, and magazines.

From these courses have developed more generic communications skills courses aimed at practising bench scientists and applied researchers from a range of disciplines and a range of backgrounds. ?Students? from PhDs to senior professors have endured and/or enjoyed the courses.

The paper will detail: the rationale and history of these courses; the course content, philosophy and teaching methods, and provide information on evaluation of the courses carried out both by the students themselves and their institutions.

The paper will conclude by saying that for scientists to effectively communicate their messages to a wider audience then specific media and/or generic communications skills training is essential.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Training scientists to communicate
The British psychological society experience

Stephen White   The British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society have been running media training courses since 1986 (some 500 ?students? have attended the course to date.) The course is based on two premises. First that scientists need to understand the media culture in order to successfully interact with journalists. Second, that scientists need to practice media skills such as news writing and being interviewed. The tutors for these courses have always been drawn from the media-print, radio/TV, and magazines.

From these courses have developed more generic communications skills courses aimed at practising bench scientists and applied researchers from a range of disciplines and a range of backgrounds. ?Students? from PhDs to senior professors have endured and/or enjoyed the courses.

The paper will detail: the rationale and history of these courses; the course content, philosophy and teaching methods, and provide information on evaluation of the courses carried out both by the students themselves and their institutions.

The paper will conclude by saying that for scientists to effectively communicate their messages to a wider audience then specific media and/or generic communications skills training is essential.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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