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Communicating Research Results to the Public Using Traditional and Social Media

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May 16, 2016
Irene Liu, M.P.H.

Public Liaison Officer
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Do you have a set “elevator speech” you use to explain your latest research activities? If you were contacted by a reporter, would you feel confident that you could summarize your scientific work in a way that the public could understand? Do you ever wonder whether social media could help you network and share research results?

The public is bombarded with conflicting messages about results of scientific studies. Unfortunately, the sound bites about health research on the nightly news often result in confusion. For some people, that confusion leads to a general mistrust of any research on health. At NCCIH, we recognize that the public is often misinformed about health claims related to complementary and integrative health. To help build scientific literacy, we’ve embarked on an effort to help the public better understand complex scientific topics through our “Know the Science” tools.

On the flip side, we believe that researchers could improve their communication skills and take advantage of more opportunities to communicate clearly with the public. At the 2016 International Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health (ICIMH) this week, my communication colleagues and I will be giving a workshop titled “How To Communicate Your Research Results to the Public: Working With Traditional and Social Media Outlets.”

The goal of the session is to provide an overview of communication techniques that scientists can use to share their research information with the public and each other. We’ll roll up our sleeves and practice explaining scientific research results in a way that reporters and bloggers could understand. In addition, we’ll explore the use of social media, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to connect and share scientific content.

If you’re attending ICIMH, please join us on Friday, May 20 to hone your skills related to communicating science to the public.

This page last modified May 16, 2016