Science Communication and Public Engagement

Discover the importance of public engagement in science, and learn techniques to share and raise awareness of your research.

  • Duration 3 weeks
  • Weekly study 2 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $54 Find out more

Define your message and share your findings through social and traditional media

Please note this course runs without facilitation

Good science communication ensures the public engage with and understand relevant scientific research. On this course, you will learn how best to share your science findings with your intended audience.

You’ll explore how the relationship between society and science has evolved over time, and find out how traditional and social media can be used to share research. You’ll learn to identify your target audience and define your message to build a shareable story.

You’ll also discover guidelines for working with journalists, and how to host small events to share information with the public.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    From 16 Mar 2020

    Introduction to science communication and public engagement

    • Welcome to the course

      In this activity we introduce the people that collaborated to the creation of this course, our learning objectives and the course structure

    • Why science communication?

      In this activity we briefly discuss some reasons why science communication is important, and we give a brief introduction of the relationship between science and society

    • Let's get started: goal and audience

      In this activity we start discussing more practical aspects of science communication, starting with two crucial question: what is your goal? Who do you want to talk with?

  • Week 2

    From 23 Mar 2020

    Finding your message and delivering it

    • Creating your message

      In this activity we'll continue from where we left off last week: once the audience and goals are clear, we can start defining a message that it's relevant for them and aligned with your communication objectives

    • Delivering your message

      Once your audience, goal and message - and maybe your story - are defined, it's time to move to the next topic: how can you deliver this message?

  • Week 3

    From 30 Mar 2020

    Communicating through journalists and institutional initiatives

    • Journalism and science

      In this week we'll discuss about the relationship between journalism and science, focusing on some tips on how to relate with them

    • Institutional aspects of science communication

      In this activity we discuss aspects of science communication more linked with academia and institutional activities, such as roles of a scientific culture unit and the relationship between research institutions and stakeholders

    • Conclusion and goodbyes

      With this activity we come to the conclusion of the course. After recapping the content of the last three weeks, we will ask for your opinion and leave you with a list of resources on science communication

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Design small-scale public science communication events
  • Reflect on the role of traditional and social media in the communication of science
  • Improve your science communication activities by clearly identifying the target audiences, messages and stories

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for scientists and researchers who wish to communicate the results and theory of their field(s) of study to the public.

This includes graduate and postgraduate students, academic staff of all career levels, and scientists not working in academia.

The Educators won’t be able to join the discussions themselves or respond to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focused around debate and discussion – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way. Don’t forget to comment, reply to other learners and ‘like’ comments.

Who will you learn with?

Alessandro Cicerale

Alessandro Cicerale

I am a research fellow and lecturer at the University of Torino, Italy. My research activities include neuroimaging of eating disorders and neurostimulation with therapeutic and rehabilitative goals.

Katiuscia Sacco

Katiuscia Sacco

Associate Professor in General Psychology, Psychobiology and Psychometry and Coordinator
of the Research Group "Imaging and Cerebral Plasticity" at the University of Torino, Italy

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, with the aim to create a sustainable and future-proof food sector.

University of Turin

The University of Turin is one of the largest and most prestigious Italian universities, with about 70,000 students, 4,000 employees, and 1,800 research fellows, encompassing all academic sectors.

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) is a Life Sciences specialised academic institution.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

This activity has received funding from EIT Food, the innovation community on Food of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

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