9 December, 2020 14:36

RSF held master class on academic communication for young researchers

This week, the Council of Young Scientists and the Russian Science Foundation held an online workshop as part of the Advanced Materials and Forward-Looking Technologies interdisciplinary forum. Academic communication experts, including Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education representatives, described the advantages scientists gain from interacting with the general public and gave a master class on writing science-related news. Over 150 young researchers participated in the online event.

Meeting with the participants in the 2019 forum. Credit: RSF Press Office
Credit: RSF Press Office
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Meeting with the participants in the 2019 forum. Credit: RSF Press Office
Credit: RSF Press Office

Tatyana Vompe, Vice President of the Young Scientists Council of the RAS, Alexander Baikov from the Institute of Metallurgy and Materials Science and Maria Mikhaleva, Head of the Public Relations Department of the Russian Science Foundation, moderated the meeting.

Anna Dzarakhokhova, Head of the Academic Communications Department at the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education, opened master class with a quote of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. The head of state believes that the public knows little about scientific achievements, the work of scientists and the scientific worldview, and that this has a host of negative consequences, making science as a career and science, in general, less prestigious and attractive. Actively publicizing the results of publicly funded civil research will bolster scientists' accountability to the public and promote Russian science in general.

“Scientists can, among other things, use modern media for such communication. Personal accounts on social media make it easier for everyone to communicate with one another, reduce the risk of information being distorted, boost the citation index, and help attract students to laboratories,” said Anna Dzarakhokhova.

The Russian Science Foundation also extensively publicizes the results of academic research. For instance, the Tell About Your Research project launched several years ago allowed hundreds of RSF grant holders to inform Russia's leading media about their work. The scientists who participated in the project note that this had a positive impact on their professional life. Their colleagues from other academic institutions get in touch with them more frequently. Students and postgraduates also get in touch with them in larger numbers. They have even been contacted by industries interested in their research results.

Every year, Russian Science Foundation issues about 200 press releases that come out in hundreds of federal and regional newspapers, on various websites, TV channels and radio stations. Researchers talk to journalists, describe the results of their work at public popular science lectures, comment on current events and issues and give tours of their labs.

“The Russian Science Foundation is committed to support initiatives to make science popular. Naturally, we had to become involved in this Forum. If you turn to the Foundation's information resources, you will see that the majority of our news reports cover the results of our grant holders' research. We have travelled a long road toward creating an efficient system of collaboration between scientists, communicators, journalists and the general public. Today, we are pleased to be sharing our experience with young scholars, especially since there are many RSF grant holders among the workshop participants,” stressed Maria Mikhaleva.

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