Science in Society

What do I want to share?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Your article or presentation may be about the results of a research study or an opinion piece based on recent events. Make sure you cover the basic Who?What?When?Where?How? and Why? or So what?​​​​​​​

  • Unless the point of the article is to share a novel participatory research approach, try not to get lost in methodology when you talk to a popular audience about how the work was done.
  • It helps to jot down a few ideas in a mind map to identify the main points you would like to convey.
  • Explaining the “So what?” in your article or presentation is crucial. You need to be clear about the SA challenge, what the HSRC has done or suggests be done, and what the impact was or potential impact could be.


  • Remain a-political in your science communication. A specific stance may charm a government official but it may evoke a different response from a private-sector funder or the media. Keep to your findings and expertise and true to the HSRC mandate to further research and improve the lives of South Africans.

DSI Science Engagement Strategy:

The Department of Science and Innovation’s Science Engagement Strategy (SES) seeks to develop a society that is knowledgeable about science, scientifically literate and capable of forming opinions about science issues.

Link to the next section:

  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.​​​​​​​