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Science Communication Summer School

Science Communication Summer School

The Jagiellonian University | Monday 19th June – Friday 23rd June

What are we planning?

In association with Imperial College London we are organising a Science Communication Summer School for doctoral students of the Doctoral School in the Social Sciences. You are warmly invited to apply.

You will be taught by experts from Imperial College, Copenhagen’s Medical Museion, the Polish Press Agency, and Jagiellonian University.

This is a unique opportunity for you to frame your work in a broader, public perspective, and to learn vital communication skills that will enrich your research and diversify your CV.


Why is science communication important?

By science communication, we mean the range of ideas and skills that aim to improve the way researchers engage with the public. Researchers often say they work better if they have an understanding of public attitudes to science and social science research. They comment that having an appreciation of public priorities can be a stimulus for good research.

When researchers want to reach new audiences inside and outside the university, they can choose from a variety of communication skills: writing, video, media interviews and public speaking, and exhibition design.

Even within a university, communication is central to success. It is very important that you can communicate well your ideas, especially if you want to collaborate easily with researchers outside your discipline.

The public pay for most university research, through taxes. A society that is well-informed about science may make better democratic decisions and may support universities more enthusiastically. The next generation of researchers will enter the profession partly because of good school teaching, but also because of the public discussion of research.

We very much hope you will take up this opportunity to try your hand at a variety of practical and valuable science communication skills.


What will I learn?

We aim to help you communicate your research more widely, both within your professional field, and in public. We will introduce you to a variety of skills, so that you can test out your interests in different forms of communication.

The Science Communication Summer School will include these practical themes:

  • How to be interviewed about your research area
  • How to write for a general audience
  • How to structure a radio package or a podcast
  • How to give a talk to colleagues
  • How to give a talk to public audiences
  • How to curate museum objects to communicate the ideas of your research area


The Science Communication Summer School will include these theoretical themes:

  • Philosophical foundations of science: how do doubt and uncertainty affect communication?
  • Museums and research: how can museums use objects, memory and history to engage the public with the social sciences?
  • Who are the experts? How do expert knowledge, media coverage and narrative structures interact to make sense of controversies, urgent problems and political events, including war.
  • Do good fences make good neighbours? How do our research areas form boundaries with other areas, and how are links found between diverse areas of culture, including science and art?


How will the teaching be organised?

We aim to provide you with a suite of practical and theoretical skills that will help you communicate your work more successfully, and prove valuable in your career.

You will be team-taught by a group comprising academics, journalists and museologists. Although there will be some formal elements to the teaching, including lectures on the various areas of interest of the teachers, the bulk of the work will involve discussion and will be highly interactive.

Much of the work will involve discussion of your own perspectives on the public engagement of your work: its importance, its controversial aspects, its potential to make the world a better place. We will also be interested in your views and experience of the media and any experience you may already have as a communicator. Therefore, all members of the Summer School must expect to be involved from the start in group work and in discussion.


How can I apply?

Twenty places are available. We will offer them to students who can demonstrate an interest in the topics we propose, and can explain why science communication skills might enrich science-society relations in general, and their career in particular.

There are two ways to apply. Prepare EITHER

  1. A three-minute video, simply recorded on a phone.


  1. A 500-written text.

To help you structure your application we suggest you consider the following questions

What aspects of your work would you like to communicate more widely?

What aspects of your research do you think are the most difficult to communicate?

What do you hope you will learn from the Summer School?


Send your applications to Doctoral School in the Social Sciences


Ms Małgorzata Checinska – Gladzik


The deadline for sending applications is June 15th 2023.

Summer School: 2 ECTS, accounting for education outcome


Please note, that for all those who are interested in learning more about science communication before (or after) they apply, there will be an introductory lecture delivered by prof. Stephen Webster from Imperial College London, who will also be one of the tutors of the Summer School.

The lecture will be held online on Wednesday, May 17th, at 12 P.M. on Ms Teams, technical details will be communicated soon. 


Szkoła letnia jest współfinansowana ze środków NAWA w ramach projektu STER – Umiędzynarodowienie szkół doktorskich

The summer school is co-financed from NAWA funds under the project STER - International mobility of Doctoral Students