Editorial – The recipe of communication in science

By . Published on 20 October 2016 in:
October 2016, , , ,

My name is Araceli, and presently I am doing my PhD at the University of Strathclyde under the supervision of Andrew Daley.

Throughout my childhood, the process of learning science relied basically on educators together with books. Nowadays, the access to all kind of videos and online courses is only a stone’s throw away, thanks to new technologies. The means used to teach and communicate science have changed over the years. Nevertheless, the general way to connect with people remains basically unaltered.

During my experience in academia, I have had the chance to attend a variety of presentations. Despite having different names (such as talks, colloquiums, seminars), all of these word-spreading events have something in common: the presenter delivers a message to the audience. Within these formulae there are some key ingredients: the sender, the message, the receiver, and the length of the message.

Firstly, the public, the receiver, might be diverse. Having experts from the field in the room may reshape the approach of how the presentation is given. To describe an idea to another person with different education and experience can be very challenging. Furthermore, the interaction with people in addition to how the words are spread, ensures that the right impact is provided.

Moreover, during an outreach event where specific activities are presented, the method used to transmit the information is indeed very sensitive, when the same concept has to be explained to a primary school student at the same time as to a retired physics teacher. As part of SCOPE (Student Community for Optics and Photonics Engineering), I have had the chance to share ideas and communicate physics in all types of environments, helping me to grow as a person as well as a researcher.

Although it must be obvious, the time available is a very significant parameter. It is not the same to lecture for an hour, with the possibility to enter into details, compared with only a few minutes during which only the most relevant and decisive pieces of information can be delivered.

The chance EPS Young Minds gave me during the 5thMeeting in Budapest to explain my research in five minutes was really a challenge. Eventually, the correct mixture of ingredients made this talk a success, and I encourage future members to take part in this adventure.

For more information about SCOPE, visit the website:

Their activities can be followed through their Facebook page:

Araceli Venegas Gómez
PhD student at the University of Strathclyde

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