Science in Society

Useful links on science communication

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Useful links on #SciComm in SA and elsewhere

The online science communication course at Stellenbosch University is designed to help researchers and communication professionals to get to grips with the principles and practice of effective science communication. ​​​​​​​

Around the world, researchers, research funders and policymakers are increasingly aware of the need to make scientific research more accessible to public audiences, and to engage a wide range of public groups in the processes of science. Science communication is emerging and expanding as a vibrant field of practice and scholarship, while science communication and public engagement strategists and researchers are increasingly in demand.

Stellenbosch University offers a 6-week online course in science communication to help guide researchers and communication professionals navigate the dynamics and trends in science communication and public engagement with science. Since 2015, over 500 scientists and science communicators have completed this course successfully.

The course is designed for scientists who want to enhance their ability to integrate public communication and engagement as a part of their research activities, as well as for science communication professionals eager to enhance their professional experience and network.

The course is presented by Dr Marina Joubert, a pioneer of science communication practice and research in South Africa.

Course overview and dates

The course platform will open again in 2025. Six weekly modules are presented, followed by a practical assignment. The course is delivered via online content and regular, interactive online presentations and discussions. The following topics are covered:

  • Science communication history and trends over time;
  • Major role players and platforms;
  • Novel and creative approaches;
  • Science and the mass media;
  • Science and its publics: methods of engagement;
  • Science communication as a field of research; and
  • Practical science communication skills.
  1. Who is my target audience?
  2. What do I want to share?
  3. What should my word count be?
  4. How do I structure an article?
  5. How can I use stories in my communication?
  6. I need help with language and style
  7. What about footnotes/bibliographies/references?
  8. Tick box
  9. Talking about the HSRC: Are we diluting our brand?
  10. Focus on the researcher: Conveying the So What? and writing a short biography
  11. How do I structure a PowerPoint presentation?
  12. How do I take a useful photograph?
  13. How do I plan the structure of a short video?
  14. Useful links on science communication
  15. I am no digital native and need help with these: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​creating hyperlinks, tracking edits in Word, making edits in Pdf, sending large documents and folders via WeTransfer
  16. Visualise your communication for impact
  17. HSRC events: Requirements for drafting and sending invitations

This toolkit is designed to help HSRC researchers to communicate information about their research effectively to maximise impact.​​​​​​​