Shweata N Hegde
Science communication (SciComm) as a career field, at least in India, is still developing. SciComm enthusiasts have to learn the skills themselves more often than not with limited resources and a lack of a proactively collaborative community. But does it always have to be that way? Does every novice SciCommer have to reinvent the learning wheel over and over again?
SciComm Lite 1.0 was an attempt to answer these questions. In February 2021, SciRio launched its first-ever SciComm virtual workshop. As participants, we gained immense insights from this workshop and couldn’t miss the chance to share them with the world. We also interviewed Suchitha, the Founder of SciRio, to pique her mind on the workings of the workshop! Please find out more about her experience in organizing the workshop here and some behind-the-scenes!
SciComm Lite 1.0
The workshop spanned for over a week from February 24th to March 2nd 2021, with a diverse cohort of mentors. Here’s what our itinerary looked like.
SciCommLite 1.0’s Schedule
With jam-packed sessions, valuable resources and lively interactions, the workshop formed a primer to kick start our journey to become a better science communicator. We were a diverse set of participants from India and across the globe, ranging from undergraduate to graduate students, freelancers, physicists, nutritionists in-making, and even public health researchers.
The impromptu conversations in the networking sessions before and after the main sessions added a lot to our understanding of communicating science effectively.
What made the workshop more impactful were the assignments we got to work on. It helped us put all of our learnings into action. It was the perfect opportunity for us to get out of our comfort zones and get our hands dirty with a new format or idea. To top that, we received personalized feedback from mentors to help improve our skills. It cannot get better than that!
Here are a few fun zines created for their assignments by our fellow participants.
The workshop ended with feedback from all the participants. They shared how much they enjoyed the workshop, their learnings and their goals.
A Word Cloud of the feedback received
All sessions had a continuum, and one built on the other. The workshop gave us wings to experiment, explore and find our unique style for communicating science. We were given assignments where we could choose to write a pitch for an article or podcast, create our own zines, attempt at creating multi-sensory content or try our hand at writing in English or local language. We received personalised feedback from the mentors, which helped us become better. It also equipped us with the necessary troubleshooting skills for the hurdles we might face in the future. The workshop might have ended, but it’s just the beginning for the participants and SciRio as well.
Inspired by SciComm Lite 1.0, we conducted our very first interview with none other than Suchitha. Find out more about her experience in organising the workshop here and some behind the scenes!