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Biomedical Early Career Interdisciplinary Networking Programme- The Conversation: Writing for a Public Audience Workshop

Biomedical Early Career Interdisciplinary Networking Programme- The Conversation: Writing for a Public Audience Workshop
When Apr 25, 2018
from 10:30 AM to 01:00 PM
Where The School of Clinical Medicine, Seminar Room 10
Contact Name
Contact Phone 07464789129
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Join editors from The Conversation an independent, not-for-profit media outlet that uses content sourced from the academic and research community. Since the Australian website's launch in March 2011, it has expanded into six editions, with the addition of a United Kingdom (UK) version in 2013 ( also United States (US) Africa, France  and Global ) The Conversation publishes all content under a Creative Commons license and, as of May 2017, reports a monthly online audience of 5.2 million users onsite, and a reach of 35 million people through creative commons republication.

10.30 am Coffee and Pastries- networking time

11am- 1pm: 2 hours workshop - with break.

Gain familiarity of the aims, structure, way of working and benefits of TC.

Learn to consider what elements of research and expertise could
interest the public, and how to communicate it.

Understand the style, tone and structure of articles written for the

Become familiar with how to navigate the site editor and how to use metrics to track engagement.

Identify good ideas to hone into stories, and how to put them across.

20-30m Presentation: how to write for a public audience
● What is TC, origins and aims
● What TC does and why
● Why bother communicating research to the public?
● What does writing for TC involve?
● Why TC rather than another outlet?
● Tips on style, tone and structure
● The ‘banned list’: jargon and academic-ese (examples)
● Who is TC’s audience and how to aim articles at them
● The journalistic rather than academic approach
● Identifying an angle - what’s new?
● How to pitch
● Examples of different approaches:
- A piece about the academic’s own research
- A response to someone else’s research
- A listicle (“Top five…”, “Ten most…”)
- Something irreverent/entertaining/unusual

15m Chat/Q&A Opportunity for
questions and

10m Site demonstration
● Editor takes attendees through the TC online editor
● How article editing works, preview and history record
● Demonstrate “traffic light” readability system
● Note approve button and disclosure statement
● Show dashboard and article readership metrics

30-40m Exercises:
● Based on worksheet academics have brought with them,
discuss ideas for articles (allowing time for those without)
● Each academic (or in teams of 3-4 if large group) pick
one to develop. Write an opening paragraph and
● Discuss with group why topic is interesting to a
non-specialist audience, or how to make it so
● Write a pitch for the article

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A virtual centre for infectious diseases researchers at the University of Cambridge and affiliated institutes. Our vision is to build a world-leading interdisciplinary centre with capacity to develop innovative solutions for intractable infectious disease problems and support evidence for infectious disease policy.