SBRI19014U Science Communication and Media Skills

Volume 2020/2021

BRIDGE - Translational Excellence Programme


  • Lecture on science communication theories: Why should the public be engaged with science? What are the roles of scientist in public communication? How can scientists use social media?
  • Lecture on mass media and the role of journalists: How does the media work? How do journalists frame a story and what are the news criteria? Why should scientists build relationships with journalists?
  • Development of individual communication strategies for participants own research topics: Why should people listen to your story? How should you prepare an interview?
  • Introduction to crisis communication: What to consider when caught in a communication crisis? How to construct a story-line?
Learning Outcome

On completion of the course, the participants should be able to:


  • Acquire overview of basic theories in science communication
  • Understand how mass media functions and how journalists work
  • Understand the basics or crisis communication



  • Construct story-lines for public communication of research
  • Develop public communication plans for own research and assess crisis potential
  • Provide feedback on communication efforts



  • Communicate own research and reflect upon the effects of such communication

4 Chapters from David J Bennett & Richard C Jennings: Successful Science Communication. Cambridge, 2011.

Participants must meet the admission criteria in BRIDGE - Translational Excellence Programme
• Interactive lectures, class room discussions and group work
• Participants interview each other on personal communication strategy
• Role-play on crisis communication and mock-up crisis TV-interview
• Participants prepare a 3 min pitch of their own research prior to the course. During the course this is filmed, and participants receive feedback
• Individual reading and reflection
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 8
  • Theory exercises
  • 6
  • Total
  • 14
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
• Preparation of 3 min pitch of own research prior to course
• Attendance, including providing feedback to fellow course participant
• Subsequently submit a communication plan for own research and provide feedback to a fellow participants communication plan
Exam registration requirements

Participants are automatically registered for the Examination upon course registration.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assesment


  • Knowledge of forms and content of science communication strategies and their effect
  • Understanding of own role in relation to media, publics and communication professionals



  • Ability to construct a science communication strategy
  • Awareness of personal strengths in public communication



  • Make informed choices on how to communicate in public
  • Ability to reflect on strengths and weaknesses of communication strategies and different story-lines