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27 september 2022

Make your research visible and understood outside of academia

At this year’s DIREC seminar, we invited PhD students and others interested in making their research visible outside academia to a workshop with Peter Hyldgård who has more than 20 years of experience with science journalism and communication.

Research is the key to our understanding of the challenges in our society, human prerequisites and the abilities of technology. Therefore, it is important that research is made available to as many people as possible.

In the academic world, publications in scientific journals have a very special status, and every year millions of research articles, doctoral theses, books and anthologies are published across the globe and within all disciplines. Unfortunately, very few people read all these publications. It is therefore necessary also to focus on other types of dissemination that can reach a wider target group, as this will contribute to give research a more obvious role in society and makes research more interesting and relevant to the wider population.

At the workshop, focus was on how to tell a good story about your research that everyone can understand – without compromising on the academic content, and how to build a bridge to an audience that does not have any immediate interest in/knowledge of the topic. 

Peter Hyldgård introduced several simple tools for finding a story about one’s research, which can be used in many contexts: When you must seek funding, when you are interviewed by a journalist – or when you must tell your uncle Adam about your work.

The workshop was a mixture of presentations and small exercises, with a slightly larger final exercise where the participants gave a – very short – oral ‘pitch’ of their research.