They say we can all understand.
Why is it so difficult for many experts? What opposes?
Well, a lot: the “blind spot expert” that can prevent people who know a lot about how to explain to the rest of us. Ego – or its opposite: insecurity or lack of confidence. Comfort that brings darkness. Laziness or tradition. Professional standards – be perceived as incorrect or amateur, if you do not use industry jargon.
All this is false.
To bring innovation and new knowledge to scale, so that they can inopact and improve life, innovators and creators of knowledge must describe what they do so that we all understand.
When planning any public communication of your research, ask yourself: Who is my audience? What is the key point of my work? What impact do I want this job is?
And this is particularly important in the field of education. The results that researchers and policymakers can generate may alter the student’s functioning and transform lives. If educators do not feel prepared to tell this story – that their results tell the story – then so much is lost.
What are the tools, techniques, tricks of the trade for translation and dissemination of research?
Resources that can help and inspire
Public communication from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (and see the Bridging the Gap slide from our SxSWedu discussion).
The Hechinger report
Useful knowledge, Harvard School of Education
US Department of Education: Going Public: writing research in everyday language
Public sewer with science and technology (AAAS): communication tools
Researchers Pledge to Implement Education Research
Sense of Science
Campaign of Data Quality
Alan Alda Center for Science Communication at Stony Brook
Public participation project
Six web-based tools and applications that can help communicate visually
Writing in a research study
Eight questions to ask when interpreting the university
Radiolab, an exceptional source of scientific narratives. (Here is an analysis of his narrative techniques, and here is an audio clip explaining Earth’s ability to sustain a growing population.)
Do you need to be HONNÉRIEUR?
Play the technical language generator and Edu Babble bingo (the game you do not want to win).
Read about how edu-speak affects the improvement of the school, the Hechinger Report.
When inventing the next great tool? Remember, only 28 percent of Americans understand tech jargon.
The warning: the absurd auto-complete paper writing accepted by an international conference on nuclear physics.
Start, QUESTION 3
When planning any public communication of your research, your product, or your new business – trying to write, listen to, or work with communications from the institution’s staff – asking:
Who is my audience?
What is the key point of my work?
What impact do I want this job is?
And some tips
Identify your audience: that your work is important (who should be important)?
What your audience wants to know and what you need to know?
What are your messages to go? Practice: What is the description of a single sentence of your project or your research? What is the description of three sentences?
Use simple, clear and simplified language. Avoid jargon (obviously).
Think of an inverted pyramid when writing, speaking or presenting your project to a wider audience. First make your first points. Add details. Then conclude with a finely polished point of interest. Your sentences and paragraphs should be short.
Or: think of an iceberg! The part that is above the surface is where the really big things live, accessible and clear. But, obviously, this is what can not see what is happening underwater, that is the key. It’s your impact (literally, if you’re the Titanic.) This is your research. That is his testimony. This is what confirms your affirmations – and what is compatible with your outputs. You can share everything below the surface of the iceberg with the audience you need or want to go deeper and deeper into the subject.