Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

    • Course welcome from lead trainer Dr Claire Ainsworth

    • How to use this course

    • What would you like to know? Please complete this short survey so that we can tailor the content of the webinar session

    • Icebreaker: introduce yourself and share a science story you like (or hate!)

  • 2

    Connecting with your audience

    • Introduction to chapter 2

    • Exploring your motivation for communicating

    • Understanding your audience

    • Pitching at the right level

    • How would you pitch your research?

  • 3

    Structuring short articles

    • Introduction to chapter 3

    • Structuring short popular science articles

    • Dissecting a short popular science article

    • Comparing academic and popular-style writing

    • Answering the "so what?" question

    • Spot the "so what?"

    • Preparing your first paragraph

  • 4

    Effective use of language

    • Introduction to chapter 4

    • Language: dealing with jargon

    • Language: effective use of voice, words and imagery

    • Putting it to use

    • Bringing it all together: write a short article about your research

    • Wrap-up of part 1

    • Advance reading for webinar

    • Live webinar

    • Pitch clinic

  • 5

    Next Steps...

    • How to get your work published #1

    • How to get your work published #2

    • Best practice in science communication

    • Science communication in the age of misinformation

    • Any questions?

    • More resources for you

    • Before you go...please give us some feedback!


Senior Instructor

Jon Copley

Jon is Associate Professor of Ocean Exploration & Public Engagement at the University of Southampton and a former reporter and news editor of New Scientist magazine. In his training, he draws on 20 years of experience of being a research-active scientist who communicates his work to the public and policymakers both directly and via the media. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 and World Service science radio programmes and has extensive experience of broadcast news interviews about his own research. He is a scientific advisor and onscreen contributor to TV documentaries including BBC Blue Planet II, and the author of popular science book Ask an Ocean Explorer (2019).

Senior Instructor

Claire Ainsworth

Claire is a freelance science journalist who writes for publications including New Scientist, Nature, Science and The Observer. Prior to going freelance, she was Senior Reporter, News and Features at Nature, and before that, a news reporter and features editor at New Scientist magazine. She has also regularly appeared as a science news commentator on The Science Hour on the BBC World Service. She has a doctorate in developmental biology and has won awards for her science journalism including an Association of British Science Writers Award. She has been training scientists in science communication in the UK, EU and further afield since 2000.