Introducing NIAS Communication Club

The science communication team at NIAS is proud to introduce the NIAS Communication Club, which aims to collectively understand the art of effective science communication. The motive behind NIAS-Communication Club being formed is to fill the gap of communicating research to the society and aims to foster and nurture communication skills of young researchers. This effort will be an aid in encouraging and equipping researchers to be creative and effective in communicating their research motivation and outcome to public. The prospects of the club were briefed to be conducting lectures, workshops and seminars and provide resource persons to researchers to further enhance their communication skills.

The Communication Club commenced with an inaugural program held on 31st October, 2018 which focused on the need for research communication in today’s era and for having this forum. Prof. M. Sai Baba, Prof. Sailesh Nayak, Prof. V. S. Rammurthy and Dr. V.V. Binoy of NIAS were on hand to build on this idea of having a communication club and to make it a formal platform. Director of Vignan Prasar, Dr. T. V. Venkateswaran had given a felicitous inaugural talk. Attendees shared opinions, thoughts on the need to improve our reach to the society by being able to communicate to large diverse audience who are non-specialists in any domain of research.

Several facets of Science Communication were also discussed during this program which opened up many suggestions to be considered: Analyzing the use new technologies and media platforms efficiency in reaching out to larger masses; understanding peoples’ need and interest to be able to reach to them (since it would be futile in communicating matters of research where public isn’t curious about); and to communicate in the right context to the right people since it is nearly impossible to communicate research in a similar fashion to all of the public.

Some professions, for example, corporate and politicians, have mastered the art of communicating effectively and convincing people. Academic researchers lag far behind in communicating their technical knowledge to public as credible information and as well as recreational entertainment. The need for researchers developing as public intellectuals is crucial for being recognized and trusted to be providing credible information. Also, we must improve on our communication skills in educating public of the scientific methodology which emphasizes on organized skepticism and critical thinking (it is often found missing in today’s scientific communications). Communicating research just in the form of providing facts and information will not be much engaging to the public, and so invoking the art of storytelling in researchers was another important message brought to our notice during the inaugural program.

Head over to our Vlog section to watch the full event.

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