Lecture 5: Extending the Reach of your Research

by Jessica Pandohee, RMIT University

In his lecture entitled “Extending the Reach of your Research”, Daniel Powell, one of the co-editor of the online web magazine Our World 2.0 discussed the importance of communication in research.  He presented new ways scientists can communicate their findings to a non-specialist audience and also introduced Our World 2.0 website to the Young Researchers’ School.  The pressure to publish in academia is well-known and productivity of researchers is assessed by impact metrics such as the h-index, the number of publications and citations.  However, here Daniel showed the young researchers that by sharing their findings through social media and networks or via internet/web magazine, scientists make a significant impact to a broader audience.  While scientific publications sustain one’s career and allow one’s work to be reviewed by other researchers, the use of influential media extends the reach of one’s research.  The online web magazine Our World 2.0 is an example of such a media. Current contents of the website include interview, review, special report, video brief, debate 2.0 and how things work.  All these categories aim at disseminating scientific research and publish them in a non-technical language allowing a non-expert audience to appreciate the research.  The lecture also included inspirational videos of researchers and people around the world working on sustainable development in many areas such as climate change, food security, peak oil and biodiversity.  Overall, this lecture has been different from the other academically related presentations in the sense that it enabled us to see a different perspective of communication in science.