Thursday, 31 May 2012

Sense About Science

Sense about Science is a charitable trust that equips people to make sense of science and evidence on issues that matter to society. They work with the public and scientists to help root out dodgy science, and ensure the public are not mislead by things such as statistics, or claims made without evidence. 

Sense  about Science have a network of scientists (from nobel laureates to PhD students) who give an idea of their expertise and are then called upon to help respond to dubious claims or science in the press, give advice to certain groups when there is concern/worry, and engage in advocacy work (such as writing and signing open letters to bodies such as Parliament, the UN, World Health Organisation). You can sign up here if you want to join their list of scientists. They have a wide array of helpful resources such as a guide called 'making sense of statistics' and 'what is peer review?'.

Sense about Science also host workshops which help scientists to think about how best to work with the media and present their work - to avoid confusion, misrepresentation and misunderstandings. Having been on one of these recently, I definitely recommend them to young scientists, PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. Their 'Standing up for Science - Media Workshop' offered a great opportunity to hear from and question academics with experience of working with the media, and those working for different aspects of the media (The Guardian and the BBC for example). The opportunity to engage in this discussion, share experiences and suggest ways to develop this work was really helpful and enjoyable.

Check out this fantastic organisation, and see how you can get involved!