Science engagement toolkit

Inspiring Australia, a programme delivered by Questacon, part of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, has developed a suite of practical tools to assist science communicators, researchers, journalists and policy makers in their science engagement activities.

Enhancing skills to work effectively with the media

  • Become skilled at using social media – blog, tweet and podcast
    Receive training through a series of online short videos focused on blogging, tweeting and podcasting to enhance your skills in promoting science and research messages. For more information visit www.smc.org.au
  • Writing skills for social media
    In this two-week online training course, participants will learn how to engage and write for social media.
  • Learn to speak to the media
    Learn how to pitch a story and make it newsworthy, how to handle a media interview and work with journalists through this online programme.
  • Public forums to talk about the latest science and research in Australia
    Ten face-to-face forums provided an opportunity for scientists to discuss relevant and topical issues that can be used to inform the public about science research and developments.
  • Media and communication skills - training for young science researchers
    Fresh Science is a training activity that brings together scientists to engage with the media and the public. It provides an opportunity for young scientists to increase the level of coverage for their research, and emphasises the role of science in Australian society.
  • Experience life in a newsroom as a scientist in residence
    Scientists can experience life in a newsroom through a two-week placement with a newspaper publisher. Provide expert scientific advice while gaining valuable insight into the media world.
  • Access graphics, animations and visuals for breaking news
    Science Media Exchange (Scimex) provides an online space for posting and sharing use of science-related visual material to enhance the messages of scientists, science communicators and journalists.

Improving skills in communicating science through the media

  • Science journalism modules
    Journalists, scientists and science communicators can enrol in modules that address how to report and communicate science. For undergraduate, postgraduate and working journalists, learn how to be effective at communicating science across a range of mediums on a variety of topics. Find out more from the University of Queensland.
  • Introduce school students to science and the media
    A series of resources from RiAus developed for school science students and delivered in class which discuss science and how it is covered in the media. These resources can be used as preparation to tackle a topic with students or as resources to engage students in science.
  • Improve science literacy and communication skills
    Interactive online sessions are available for journalists to improve their understanding of science and how to communicate science-related topics to a general audience.
  • Research, data results
    Find information on science, science activities and attitudes to science with this compilation of data from peer-reviewed literature, reports, census polls and attitudinal survey.

Building success through strategy and collaboration

  • Align with best practice principles
    Shape best practice solutions for science engagement with the Inspiring Australia Framework of Principles
    Inspiring Australia Framework of Principles
    Inspiring Australia Framework of Principles
    The Framework has been adopted by the Australian, state and territory governments to guide the development of science engagement initiatives.
  • Aligning with the experts
    Inform your science activities with expert recommendations on improving science engagement and operations in key areas throughout Australia. Six reports are available outlining the findings of experts in their field.
  • A regional approach
    Inspiring Australia has state and territory officers in place to assist with your science communication and networks. Identify partnerships and linkages by working with Inspiring Australia Officers, who can help you identify local and regional needs and provide up-to-date information about the state of science engagement locally.

Planning your events and activities to boost impact

  • Science engagement survey results – visual interactive map
    When planning events, visit the interactive database of survey data from the National Audit of Science Engagement Activity. The information can be used to identify gaps, groups, regions, and collaborative opportunities around Australia in science communication.
  • Organise and promote your National Science Week event
    Find out how to run an event during National Science Week by downloading a practical guide on How to run a public event and How to generate publicity. Also available are templates for media releases, surveys and posters.
  • Measure and evaluate the success of your activities
    Use our event and activity evaluation tool to measure the impact and success of science engagement events.

Increasing your visibility by promoting your activities and events

For more resources including templates for surveys and polling activities, visit the Inspiring Australia website.​

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