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A 7-year science communication experiment

19 June 2024 at 4:15:00 am

T19 Talk

15 min


Often as science communicators, we come in when researchers have a breakthrough and want to tell a story about it. But what happens if you think about the story first, before the breakthrough? Could this change the course of the research? Would it make the research more impactful? Rachael is a Science Communicator in a 7-year experiment: a Centre of Excellence that brings together researchers from different disciplines. Their aim? To liberate the world’s most accurate measurement tool from the lab to revolutionise how we see the inner workings of our bodies, earthquakes and even earth-like planets. It’s also a 7-year science communication experiment, and Rachael has begun by getting the team to imagine the story – asking her researchers to predict the Centre’s breakthroughs in 7, 10, or even 30 years. Will thinking big and articulating their ideal impact help the researchers collaborate, and become more than the sum of their parts? Will their stories become reality?


Rachael Vorwerk

Relevance to conference themes

The remit of an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence is to be able to provide enough resources to be able to bridge gaps between scientific disciplines. Money alone doesn’t automatically mean these gaps will be bridged, careful tailored strategies then need to be implemented.

This presentation will discuss how science communication is pivotal to the success of our 7-year Centre of Excellence. I will discuss some of the surprising ways our science communication strategies – like filming our researchers predicting the impact their research will have – have already helped to dismantle barriers across disciplines and bridge knowledge gaps.

I hope this ‘experiment-in-real-time' will allow for rich discussion and elevated professional practice, and hopefully will be something I can present on again in a few years when I have more evidence!

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