Recently I was contacted for the first time by a journalist who wanted to know more about my research. She had seen our latest paper and wanted to ask me a few questions! Flattering, of course! Communicating science to the non-scientist audience is an enshrined duty of all researchers, although not very many do much of it in reality.
So how would I go about it?
Well, I got some advice.
- Give the journalist a brief and non-technical summary. Do not assume that she has read the paper – she is calling you because she wants to know what was in it.
- Make certain that you phrase yourself in a way that lends itself to quotes. Metaphors, similes and other rhetorical devices are recommended.
- Ask to see the article and correct incorrect quotes and other inaccuracies.
And so I did, while a little strained for time.
Obviously, I didn’t expect that the article would appear on sites that so strongly endorse products and services. Beyond that? I’m a little bit clueless. Will anybody read it? If they do, will it have any impact? Should I have given my answers differently? I don’t know.
But to be honest, the sight of my name in print with “Dr” in front of it is still enough to make my day!