Do’s and don’ts of effective science communication
✓ Tailor your information and materials carefully for your audience
✓ Remember that many people really struggle with even basic comprehension of numerical information - keep statistics to a minimum, avoid graphs
✓ Talk about individual scientists, people and personalities - including personal stories and portraits
✓ Convert data into images that people will understand - always explaining what it will mean. For example, don’t just talk about metres of sea level rise - talk about what it will mean for the coastline
✓ Always maintain some sense of proximity - use examples of what is happening now, and around you
✓ Ensure that you also talk about opportunity and talk about constructive responses
✓ Have Fun. Be confident. You are the expert in what you know and how you think and feel about it
Χ Apply generic technical scientific language to a mainstream audience
Χ Use excessive statistics, data, or graphs with a mainstream audience
Χ Talk about science in an abstract, mechanical or institutional sense
Χ Be entirely abstract or numerical about threats – for example only talking about X degrees temperature rise
Χ Only talk about impacts that are far away or in the future
Χ Only talk about doom and gloom of climate change, however well researched, as mainstream audiences will respond poorly. Ensure that you also talk about opportunity and positive visions.
Χ Be scared. You are a communication hero. You have something important to say to the world.