Science Engagement Toolkit

Inspiring Australia provides our country with a strategic and coordinated approach to science engagement, including showcasing Australia’s multibillion dollar investment in science and research.

Inspiring Australia has built a national leadership network to support the delivery of this strategy. With a presence on the ground in every state and territory and across hundreds of communities, the co-ordinated efforts of Australia’s science communicators have allowed us to better engage Australians in the sciences.

To this foundation Inspiring Australia can now add this suite of practical tools to further assist science communicators, researchers, journalists and policy makers in their science engagement activities.

Inspiring Australia’s tools have been developed by experts to add quality, impact and influence to our science engagement tasks, whether you’re a:

  • Researcher needing social media training or needing to overcome fears about speaking with the media;
  • Journalist looking for infographics, where a picture tells a thousand words;
  • Minister wanting to share the impact of your multi-million dollar investment;
  • Business group trying to source a scientist to explain the science behind a relevant issue;
  • Policy maker needing to evaluate your science engagement activities;
  • Science communicator looking for best practice in science engagement;
  • Scientist in need of expert advice about how to best communicate your specific discipline; or an
  • Event organiser keen to know how to engage unlikely audiences during one of Australia’s biggest festivals – National Science Week.

Enhancing your skills to work effectively with the media

  1. Become skilled at using social media – blog, tweet & podcast
    Receive training through a series of online short videos focused on blogging, tweeting and podcasting to enhance your skills in promoting science and research messages.
  2. Writing skills for social media
    In this two-week online training course, you will learn how to engage and write for social media.
  3. Learn to speak to the media
    Learn how to pitch a story and make it newsworthy, how to handle a media interview and work with journalists through this online programme.
  4. Public forums to talk about the latest science and research in Australia
    Participate in a series ten face-to-face forums which provide an opportunity for scientists to discuss relevant and topical issues that can be used to inform the public about science research and developments.
  5. Media and communication skills – training for young science researchers
    Fresh Science is an annual national training activity that brings together scientists from across Australia to engage with the media and the public. It provides an opportunity for young scientists to increase the level of coverage for their research, and emphasises the role of science in Australian society.
  6. Experience life in a newsroom as a scientist in residence
    Scientists can experience life in a newsroom through a two-week placement with a newspaper publisher. Provide expert scientific advice while gaining valuable insight into the media world. Coming soon.
  7. Access graphics, animations and visuals for breaking news
    Science Media Exchange provides an online space for posting and sharing use of science-related visual material to enhance the messages of scientists, science communicators and journalists.

Improving your skills in communicating science through the media

  1. Science journalism modules
    Journalists, scientists and science communicators can enrol in modules that address how to report and communicate science. For undergraduate, postgraduate and working journalists, learn how to be effective at communicating science across a range of mediums on a variety of topics. Find out more from the University of Queensland.
  2. Introduce school students to science and the media
    A series of resources developed for school science students and delivered in class which discuss science and how it is covered in the media. These resources can be used as preparation to tackle a topic with students or as resources to engage students in science.
  3. Improve your science literacy and communication skills
    Interactive online sessions are available for journalists to improve their understanding of science and how to communicate science-related topics to a general audience.
  4. Research, data results
    Find information on science, science activities and attitudes to science with this compilation of data from peer-reviewed literature, reports, census polls and attitudinal survey.