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Research

Science communication

Introduce your research to a wider audience

Would you like to present your research to a wider audience?

The FAU Press Office can help you will all aspects of science communication and engaging with the public. As there is increasing interest among the general population with regard to how public money is spent and what goes on at universities, researchers have a responsibility to explain their work and its benefits to the general public using appropriate methods and to enter into dialogue with them. This is often reflected in the funding agreements of third-party funding providers such as the DFG, which stipulate that research findings must be presented to the public effectively. Furthermore, public discussion always feeds back into research and makes it possible to view it from a different angle.

The Press Office is happy to help you with the following topics:

Have you just been awarded funding for a large research project or received a prize for your work? Are you about to publish an important paper or book or is something exciting happening at your institute (such as a teaching project or a unique partnership)? Or would you like to invite the general public to attend an event you are organising?

Please contact the Press Office well in advance so that we can determine whether and how to present your news to a wide, non-specialist audience in an interesting way. It is generally not effective to issue press information after an event has already taken place or a paper has already been published. Please bear in mind that press releases should be aimed at a non-specialist audience – some facts and terminology that are self-evident to you as part of your everyday research will need to be explained, and complex concepts will need to be simplified for the general reader. The Press Office can help you do this.

Please note: the aim of a press release is to make information available to the media should they wish to use it. There is no guarantee that it will be reproduced.

Would you like to contribute to the debate on a current issue? Journalists often use background information that the Press Office presents in the ‘Nachgefragt’ series in which experts answer three questions. In many cases the Press Office will contact you directly because journalists are looking for an expert to answer a specific question. As the media is always under pressure to be up to date, it is important that you respond quickly – even if you decline because it is not your area of expertise or you are unavailable.

If a media representative contacts you directly, the Press Office is happy to advise you on an questions you may have about their request, such as participating in a TV interview.

Press conferences are only recommended for very important news or major conferences. The Press Office is happy to help you decide whether a press conference is appropriate for your topic. Please make sure you contact us in good time; the Press Office can then invite the media, can help you create information folders, and may be able to provide assistance in person at the event.

An informative image increases the likelihood of your topic being picked up by the media. Please provide high quality images that are also suitable for printing (7cm at 300 dpi) and ensure you clarify beforehand whether the copyright holder agrees to the image being used free-of-charge for the intended purposes (e.g. online, FAU publications, social media) and that it does not infringe on the rights of any third parties. The copyright holder has the right to be credited. Information on how to use images correctly, including FAQs, a check list and a consent form, is available at fau.info/bildrecht.

Documentaries, discussions, science slams, pecha kucha, science blogs, social media, hands-on experiments, public dialogue, popular science texts, science cafés – there is a suitable method of science communication for everyone. Talking to the public about your research allows you to gain new perspectives and is a lot of fun – not just extra work.