After Karen Bidewell’s talk on press releases I realised how crucial getting science out to the public is. As a life-long science enthusiast, I was under the impression that squirreling away in the lab without widespread recognition, unless you had a major breakthrough, was commonplace. Now I see that teams of people are working to get the papers worth noticing, noticed.
The divide between ‘mad-scientist’ and the general public is narrowing as social media and free information are now everywhere. I believe that the more information about scientific developments that comes from the horse’s mouth – so to say – the better. Websites such as Science Daily alongside dedicated science sections on major news webpages, such as BBC, report research in bite-size chucks that can be easily understood always helps and I hope reach out further than the already dedicated scientific community. But first a journalist needs to want to make the study a story.
Writing a press release for the first time was much trickier than I thought. It aims to catch the attention of a journalist to show them that what you have to say is worth reporting and will make them employee of the month. This is where making science sexy comes in, making formal and, dare I say sometimes dry, journal articles attractive and dazzling is a daunting task but the team at Newcastle manage it time and time again; Getting the research from our laboratories in national newspapers and on prime time television.