How to talk about science in the media? Workshops and speed dating of science and journalism at UG

prof. Marcin Marciniak

How do you tell about your research while a match is burning or clearly explain difficult scientific terms such as ‘derivatives’? This is what researchers from the University of Gdańsk, the Technical University of Gdańsk, the Medical University of Gdańsk and the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music found out during a media workshop of the Science Spokesmen Association. On November 10, the researchers took part in a four-hour class and then met with journalists to put their new skills into practice.

‘We are beginning to professionalise our science communication, which is particularly important in an era of disinformation and the dissemination of thoroughly untrue messages that pretend to be scientific,’ said UG Rector prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski.

dr Anna Wierzbicką

The workshop with scientists was led by a member of the Science Advocates Association, dr Anna Wierzbicka, from the Poznań University of Life Sciences. The organisation runs media classes for scientists all over Poland.

The classes are full of creative media exercises, such as representing oneself in the time it takes to burn a match or warming up the muscles of the temporomandibular joint with small carrots. The scientists also learned how to stand in front of the camera and speak in a way that is accessible to a mass audience.


After the workshop, the freshly trained scientists met journalists from the Tri-City media. During speed-dates - 7-minute individual conversations - the workshop participants passed on knowledge and talked about their research. Throughout a couple of such meetings, it was possible to find out how the Chinese yuan became one of the world's five strongest currencies, why some species of Pomeranian flora are slowly dying out, and how a nuclear power plant can not only produce energy but also heat homes.

fot. Mateusz Byczkowski

The workshop was attended by 12 scientists and journalists from Tri-City television, radio, and Internet portals.

‘We really see that new 'TV stars' emerge from the dates every year,’ said dr Anna Wierzbicka for TVP3 Gdańsk.

Text and photo Marcel Jakubowski/ Press Office UG