Talking Science to Non-Scientists

One of the biggest challenges you might face as an immunologist is talking about your science, research, or work with non-scientists in a way that they can understand it. Your work is important to the public health, relevant, and interesting—but if you talk to a non-expert in the same way that you speak with your colleagues, you will lose your audience quickly.
Below are some resources you can access to learn how to speak with any audience about your work in a way that is relatable, engaging, and educational.

Talking Science: An Introduction to Science Communication

Greg Foot, a science writer for the BBC, created this eight-part YouTube series for scientists. The videos are three to 20 minutes in length, so they are easy to digest in just a day. This series will give you a very good grounding in speaking with non-experts.

Make Your Metaphor Project

The University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine conducted media training for a number of its faculty, and recorded them before and after the training talking about their science. The result is a series of videos in which they speak like a scientist—and then deliver the "lay version" so you can hear the difference. This project can give you some ideas for how to communicate about your own science. (Bonus: you may see some fellow AAI members in this group!)

Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science

The center offers free, on-demand webinars on a variety of topics, including using social media to share your science, how to make your presentations visually engaging; research about scientists' willingness to engage the public in conversations about science; avoiding burnout for healthcare professionals; and a conversation with Center Executive Director Dr. Laura Lindenfeld and founder Alan Alda about the importance of science communication.
The center also offers free interactive online workshops for scientists, although none are scheduled at this time. You can sign up for email notification about new offerings.

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