I am a marine biologist by training and currently track coordinator of a track of courses on biodiversity, ecology, evolution and marine biology at University College Roosevelt. In addition, Itook a 6 months postgraduate science journalism program and have been working as a science journalist for years. I think it is immensely important that citizens in a democratic society are well informed on important scientific topics such as health, food, climate and environment.
Scientists are often not trained to communicate their science to a wider audience and often the practice is outsourced to professional communicators. Science communication does not play a role in scientific career development and is often looked down upon. I think this is a mistake. In this science-driven world, where people’s lives are increasingly being affected by scientific results, scientists have a responsibility to explain science. And not just that: in a world where science is increasingly under attack and scientific recommendations are denied or downplayed, scientists have a responsibility to stand up for science. That’s why I am in the process of setting up a science communication program at University College Roosevelt.
Project Supported by J. J. Kidd Fellowship
The science communication program at UCR will offer training in science communication tools, such as science writing in traditional and social media, creating science podcasts and videos. In addition, a significant part of the program is aimed at understanding misconceptions such as pseudoscience and science denial, as well as finding effective ways to respond to this. The program will consist of a hands-on course and an individual research project. Modules from the course will be offered as part of the Utrecht summerschool program.
I am grateful to have been awarded a julie Johnson Kidd travel research fellowship to attend a science podcasting workshop at the Royal Biological Society in Londen. I have little experience in audiovisual communication, and this course, which is targeted at biologists/scientists, is the perfect way to acquire this knowledge and offers an example format of a 1 day program that I can offer at UCR.
Liberal Arts & Sciences… And Me
This complex modern society needs people who can connect to different fields. Liberal Arts and Sciences offers the perfect educational system for this.