There are many reasons for researchers to take part in science communication and share their ideas with the world. Communicating research can make a difference to the direction of a policy debate, can help to shape people’s opinions or build on the reputation of researchers or of a university.
Key to the process is timing. Too late and public engagement may either make no difference to the direction of research or its impact could be lost. Too early, and results may not be conclusive enough to create a meaningful impact. In other instances, publication may be driven by external events outside of the control of either researchers or communicators.
The question for us, as communicators, is how to ensure that timing enhances the impact of the research, and reputation of both researchers and the university. As part of a piece of research I’m carrying out for a CIPR qualification, I have an opportunity to explore just that, and to question whether the timing of science communication can make a difference to reputation.
If you have five minutes to spare, please respond to the following survey and share your thoughts about the impact of timing in science communications: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9VT66M8. All information gathered will be used anonymously.