Communicating Research: Getting your Message Across
Dr. Darla N. NickelJohanna von Toggenburg
In May 2012, as part of the World Congress on Water, Climate and Energy in Dublin (Ireland), Ecologic Institute organized a Special Session entitled "Communicating research: Getting your message across." The event, led by Darla Nickel, Ulf Stein, and Johanna von der Weppen, all experts from Ecologic Institute, targeted water researchers as well as practitioners with an interest in catalyzing the transfer and use of EU-funded research outputs in order to meet the objectives set out in the Water Framework Directive and related directives.
During this special session, the presenters addressed lessons learned from the first 16 months of WaterDiss2.0, a project organized in the framework of the FP7-funded project which aims to improve the processes of research communication and uptake, and adds an intermediate step after research, much like a marketing team in industry. The tools used in the process are innovative Web 2.0 features, as well as a dissemination strategy template.
The importance of identifying the target group, the place and time for communicating research outputs, as well as the appropriate use of channels and media for each output was shown. As an application to the lessons learned, participants could then design a communication strategy for their research projects aimed at uptake, based on the dissemination strategy template.
Findings of the WaterDiss2.0 project on 'Science-policy interface on the EU level' were presented to the audience during a session for the PREPARED Alliance Forum. The FP7 project STREAM (Sustainable Technologies and Research for European Aquatic Management) provided communication support via a webinar, and recorded the presentation on video.
The World Congress on Water, Climate and Energy took place from 13 to 18 May 2012 in the Convention Centre Dublin, offering a space for scientists and practitioners to exchange ideas and debate key environmental issues. The event was organized by the International Water Association, and brought together 1400 water, climate and energy professionals from across the globe.