Introduction to Communications and Media

These resources have been developed to assist academic and research staff in the School of Informatics with communicating their research to audiences who lack expertise in the field. Colleagues outside of the School and colleagues who work in various other roles will find them beneficial too and are free to use them. Colleagues outside of the University of Edinburgh should ask for permission before using them (contact details can be found at the bottom of this page).

Communicating science is part of being a scientist. Journal and conference papers are researchers' bread and butter. But sometimes academics are asked to communicate their science to audiences that lack expertise in the field. If their research impacts patients or technology users, is of interest to policymakers or maybe it changes the direction of research in their particular area, it might be worth widening the audience we are communicating these findings to.

'Science communication' (as opposed to scientific communication) is what speaking about your research to a non-specialist audience is commonly called.

Resources on this page introduce you to the basics of communication theories, science communications and media. These resources are not meant to equip you with bulletproof media skills, they're meant to give you a head start on your way to becoming a science communicator. You are not on your own when communicating your research to a non-specialist audience - there are colleagues at the University whose job it is to help you. In the School of Informatics, the Communications Team are there to support your science communication needs.

Informatics Communications Team

Whether you have any experience trying to explain your research to audiences outside of the University or can't decide whether it's worth doing, these resources should be helpful to you. The materials present basic concepts in communications and media studies, and general advice on how to communicate with various audiences and through different channels, including social media. Some of the University of Edinburgh initiatives that may be of use to you are highlighted.

The resources include three videos, a booklet and quizzes. There is no right or wrong way of using the materials - find the way that suits you best.