8 PhD students from various domains and research institutions in Luxembourg have completed an ECTS-Science Communication course that the FNR ran in collaboration with the University of Luxembourg.
During 6 sessions spread out between March and May, the students learned how to write a popular science article for a lay audience, how to present their research in an “elevator pitch” or a short video, and how to design an interactive educational workshop around their research topic.
The outcome: an online article and video from each participant
As a result, all students wrote an online article and a script for a video that was filmed by a professional camera team in a studio session. The videos and corresponding articles will soon be published on science.lu as a new series: ‘Your research in 90 sec max’.
“The focus of our course was on establishing the foundations for successful science communication to various lay audiences such as the general public, media, business investors or funding agencies”, says Jean-Paul Bertemes from the FNR, who co-organised the course with his Science Communicator colleagues Michèle Weber and Joseph Rodesch alias ‘Mr Science’.
A multidisciplinary mix of students
The 8 participating students are currently doing their PhD at the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Health. They come from very different research domains: social sciences, psychology, computer sciences, biomedicine and physics.
Theory covered by the course included an introduction to science communication, science journalism, presentation skills, media training and workshop animation training.
This was complemented with numerous practical exercises, which helped the students acquire the knowledge, techniques and confidence to communicate their own research in a clear and concise manner.
In addition, constructive peer review was applied to improve the students’ skills.
Jean-Paul Bertemes (Diploma in Chemistry and Germanistik, Freelance writer for GEO, Spiegel online and Die Zeit), Michele Weber (PhD, MRes, BSc Biological Sciences) and Joseph Rodesch (alias Mr Science, Diploma in Chemistry) are Science Communicators at the FNR. They have scientific university degrees and work experience in journalism, outreach and research. They regularly author and edit popular science articles, develop TV and radio shows and deliver educational workshops for lay audiences of all ages.