The Massachusetts General Hospital Research Institute is working to help our researchers communicate their science effectively to a wide audience. We have launched several initiatives to promote good science communication.

Earlier this year, during HUBweek, we hosted our first "Art of Talking Science" event, where eight researchers from Mass General and other local research institutions had the opportunity to deliver a four minute presentation on their science and received feedback from a panel of judges.

Watch the winning presentation from our Art of Talking Science Competition

In November, we invited the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science to Mass General for "How to Explain Science and Influence People" an interactive event that focused on helping researchers craft short, clear statements about what they do and why it matters.

When you get right down to it, our science stories are mysteries, adventures, puzzles and problems to be solved — all wrapped into one.

Here are just a few questions our investigators are asking in our labs each day:

  • What tricks do tumor cells use to grow unchecked in the body, and what strategies can we use to outsmart them?
  • What scientific insights will finally help us crack the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Can genetic clues identify those at risk for severe food allergies before they have their first adverse reaction?

It’s up to us to challenge ourselves—and each other—to find ways to communicate stories like these clearly and effectively.

Our Eight Great Tips for Communicating Science

1. Keep it simple—focus on a few key points and stick to them
2. Start with a bang—open with an interesting story to grab the audience's attention
3. Use plain language—avoid scientific jargon whenever possible
4. Set the stage—what is the problem you are trying to solve, and how are you trying to solve it?
5. Explain the process—how is your approach unique?
6. Plot your course—where are you in the process? Where did you start? Where do you hope to arrive?
7. Save time for questions
8. Smile, make eye contact, speak up and have fun!

Communicating Science Links and Resources

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