Welcome to the SciCommLab!
The SciCommLab was created for researchers, scientists, science communicators and anyone who is looking to communicate complex ideas to a non-specialised audience in an accessible way.
I want to help you get your research and your knowledge out there into the world!
The pressure for academics to show their impact outside of academia increases every day.
Whatever body is supporting your research, you likely have to demonstrate the benefits to the wider society or economy to justify the funds allocated to your research. Most institutions will look at this type of information when deciding to fund (or continue to fund) research projects.
They want you to make your mark in the world. This makes sense. The truth is, if you are anything like most researchers, you became a researcher because you know that knowledge can change the world. But in order to make a real impact outside of academia, you need to think about the end-user who will really benefit from this information, and how you can reach them.
The problem is that there is a big gap between the people who produce the knowledge and the members of the general public.
Scientists and researchers are doing brilliant work, and publishing amazing, cutting-edge knowledge and research in academic journals. But this is not enough.
First, there’s the obvious obstacle of cost. Unless they have access to a University subscription, there is not much chance of anyone paying their own subscriptions to academic journals. While the Open Access Movement addresses this, I don’t think that publishing in Open Access journals is the complete answer to this problem. It’s definitely a step in the right direction – don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly supportive of Open Access. But, the truth is, most people do not have the time to go through loads of long academic papers… or the training necessary to actually understand them.
This brings us to the second issue: language. Academic papers are written for other academics, usually in our own fields of study. And the language we use in those papers reflects this fact. They are full of words, jargon and expressions that are common in our disciplines, but can confuse anyone who is not familiar with them. Consequently, academic articles are often unintelligible to the general public.
Everyone should be able to access knowledge and learn from it.
So, alongside being able to access the papers, people need to be able to understand the information if they are interested in it. And who better to tell them all about your own research and your own findings than yourself?
The world needs to hear from researchers. The world needs to hear from you.
In a world as connected as the one we live in, researchers and scientists need to do their part in spreading their message. You spend a lot of time researching. You are making a contribution to your field. You are making a contribution to academia. Why stop there when you can make a contribution to society?
As a researcher, you produce knowledge and solve problems. You want to make a contribution to the world. I know that you have a contribution to make to society. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be spending hours and hours dedicated to your project.
As an added benefit, it is in your best interest to get your research seen.
Being able to demonstrate the impact of your research can improve your prestige as a researcher and raise your profile locally, nationally, and internationally, as well as increase your own personal satisfaction.
Let me make something clear: I am not saying that every single researcher and scientist out there needs to become a social media influencer.
What I am saying, though, is this:
Being able to communicate clearly is something that every researcher and scientist should be able to do.
However, you probably have not been trained to do this. And you shouldn’t have to figure it out on your own. So let me help you.
Who am I? Oh, thanks for asking. 🙂
My name is Louise Elali. My background is in Communication Studies and Psychology. I also have a Masters in Global Visual Communication. Over the years, I have worked with businesses and companies to make their messages clearer to non-specialized audiences. So I would say I know a thing or two about communicating with people.
It wasn’t until I started my PhD program that I learned more about the pressure institutions are now putting on their researchers to create an impact outside of academia. In today’s world, this often means having an online presence and being able to communicate in what sometimes feels like a whole new language – one that the general public would actually understand. I know how difficult this can be if you have had no training. But this was definitely a problem I could help to solve, so I decided to do something about it. That’s how SciCommLab was born.
I want to share my knowledge with you so you can share your knowledge with the world.