NewsThe British Embassy Prague and Charles University co-hosted the successful ‘The art of science communication’ conference

The British Embassy Prague co-organised the Science Communication UK Experience International Conference last week, which turned out to be a big success. The conference focused on the “art of science communication”, in which it focused on discussing topics around climate change and research. The aim was to engage the public into science communication by using the right tools, asking the right questions and correctly explaining various topics.

A long tradition in Great Britain

Science communication has a strong tradition in the United Kingdom. Fiona Fox, a long-time science journalist and head of the Science Media Centre, spoke about how to effectively connect scientists and journalists. The Centre has a database of over 2,300 experts who provide scientific context and commentary on important scientific topics and is now an indispensable resource for science journalists. “Science and health is a popular topic for the media, people are interested in science and still trust scientists, just as journalists want to communicate directly with scientists and bring the latest science topics. Our job is to help connect them,” she stressed.

The next speaker was Cristiana Vagnoni from The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), where they produce what are known as POSTnotes and POSTbriefs – clear, concise, impartial and peer-reviewed papers on specific scientific topics, written by experts, which serve as background material for (not only) the UK Parliament.

During her talk, she shared, among other things, what questions to ask when creating a good summary: “Does it contain all the information and perspectives you wanted to include? Is it well structured? Is it clear and concise? Is it impartial? Are all the statements balanced and objective?” Currently, more than six hundred and fifty POSTnotes have been produced and all are freely available online. Topics covered include the fields of biology and health, energy and environment, physical sciences and computing, as well as social sciences.


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