In a rapidly changing world, the ability of scientists to communicate their work to the public is becoming ever more important, and training in this key skill ever more valuable. The UK Polar Network will be holding a workshop on the 12th-14th January 2011 at the University of Aberdeen, providing a fantastic opportunity for early career polar scientists to develop their proficiency within this area.
Many different aspects of science communication and public engagement will be explored during the workshop. These will include the making of natural and scientific television programmes; the link between research establishments and the media and public; the role of government in science communication; expeditions as a means of inspiring and educating young people, and scientific and polar exhibitions and attractions.
Interaction and informal discussion will form a key part of all sessions. External speakers will be present from the BBC, the Open University, the Scottish Government, the University of Aberdeen, Education Through Expeditions, and the British Antarctic Survey, providing invaluable expertise and experience from which participants can learn.
Practical experience in outreach and communication will also be emphasized, with participants given the chance to present talks and posters of their own, and take part in a hands-on session on effective outreach. This aspect of the workshop will cumlinate in an actual outreach event, planned with local school groups, to give participants the chance to put their new and improved skills into practice.
Registration for the Aberdeen workshop will open on the UK Polar Network website in autumn 2010. Attendance will carry a nominal fee, but it is anticipated that funds will be made available to support travel and accommodation for participants that have no other source of expenses funding.
The dissemination and communication of polar science and issues remains a key focus of the UK Polar Network. This science communication workshop will provide early career researchers with the skills, abilities and confidence required to better themselves as ambassadors for their fields, for the Network and for science as a whole.
We invite all early career polar scientists from across the UK and around the world to this exciting workshop and we look forward to welcoming you to Aberdeen in January!