Science Communication

NEW for 2021!

Our Science Communication programme will be run in association with Andy Ridgway and Hannah Little, senior lecturers from UWE responsible for the university’s MSc in Science Communication. It will run for three weeks from 27 August to 24 September 2021, will be based at our HQ with the other GeoInterns and costs £1650.

Andy Ridgway is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at the University of the West of England (UWE) and programme leader of the university’s MSc in Science Communication. Hannah Little, is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at UWE Bristol and a Data Fellow with the South West Creative Technology Network.

Andy is an award-winning journalist who spent nearly 20 years in the profession before becoming an academic. After starting his career working on local newspapers, he moved into science journalism and became Deputy Editor of BBC Focus, the BBC’s science magazine. During his time at Focus, he was named Editorial Person of the Year in the BBC Magazines Awards for Excellence. Since becoming a lecturer, Andy has continued to write for BBC Focus, New Scientist and The Economist, among other publications. Andy is a researcher on the European Commission-funded research project, RETHINK, which is exploring the challenges and opportunities presented by online science communication.

Hannah’s research interests are digital communication, linguistic and cultural evolution, experimental methods and data analysis. Before going into academia, Hannah worked in science communication professionally. She worked full time co-ordinating the STEM Ambassador programme and the Nuffield Research Placements in the North East of England. Since then, she has facilitated science communication training with many organisations including the British Council, the UK Environment Agency and “I’m a scientist, get me out of here!”

To avoid too many arrivals and quarantine periods at our HQ, the training they impart will be via pre-recorded lectures and live Zoom training and q+a sessions coordinated in-situ by GeoTenerife Director Sharon Backhouse.

The science communication online training teaches the latest practical skills in science communication including science writing, video production as well as communicating science through social media. It is taught in an interactive way that will enable you to develop confidence and skills when communicating. Students will have the opportunity to undertake science writing and develop a short video and receive feedback on their work.

The training will appeal to those considering a career communicating about science and the environment as well as those for whom communication may be part of their role, such as researchers.

There will also be guided sessions of practical work overseen by our associated local expert in Tenerife, a professional volcanologist who is also a science TV and radio presenter.

The key skills students will learn are:
All GeoIntern students will receive the following SciComm training:

  • How to write in a lively, engaging way about science for articles in the media and blogs.
  • Producing a short video about your research and the research of others.
  • Essential skills in presenting in front of a camera and in front of a live audience.
  • How to use social media effectively to communicate about science/the environment.
  • Adapting your communication to different audiences.
  • How to do an engaging interview for written articles, podcasts and videos.
  • Sound and video editing for brilliant audio (podcast) and video clips.
  • Scripting podcasts and vodcasts.
  • The art of telling a good story about science and the environment.
  • Using your knowledge of science and the environment to help bring about change.

Students will receive feedback on pieces of written work and videos and start developing their portfolio.

There will also be a project to complete, with winning submissions to be showcased and promoted on our social media channels.

To put your training into practice, your job will be to cover the work of our GeoIntern students and Involcan scientists as part of our global social media coverage, with our feedback, guidance and support. We will publish your work in various formats on our existing social media channels throughout your time in Tenerife. Winning pieces of work will be showcased and promoted and we will help you to start establishing connections and visibility for your work. We will continue to support and promote your SciComm work long after you time in Tenerife with us is over.

At the conclusion of the September SciComm programme, we will hold a graduation at our HQ. We will have a final link-up with our UWE lecturers and students will present their videos and receive some feedback and final thoughts. There will be a formal presentation of GeoTenerife SciComm Certificates countersigned by our Director and both UWE lecturers, attesting to the formal skills you have learnt during the course (dependent on students submitting timely original pieces of work as set throughout the course for feedback).