Today, Karen Bidewell from the university’s press office came to talk to us about press releases. She spoke to us about the pros and cons of a press release for a scientific paper:
|Extra funding||Bad press|
|Raises public awareness||Miscommunication of research|
|Increases scientists profile, and their employers profile||Hole picking ,by others, of the research|
|Increased opportunities with other studies or company’s||Criticism by colleagues of research|
|Helps people recruiting for the university, if the research is in the media||Being seen as a show-off|
I think that the opportunities that the pros could bring to scientists in a study far outweigh the negatives on the cons, and press releases for scientific studies is essential in making science accessible to the masses.
I do find it interesting that one of the cons is being seen as a show-off; if research could benefit the public, or the prospects of the sciences, surely it is worth telling the media? Many people think that science is exclusively for academics, but those who are able to get their research to the general public should be applauded by others and not considered to be showing off.
I believe that the use of the media enhances people’s understanding of scientific research, as many journalists can put confusing academic journals in to laymen’s terms, therefore allowing a greater audience to comprehend it.
‘Saying “I don’t know” should be the start on the route to learning something new.’ Alice Bell