Friday, May 30, 2008

The first workshop of the PRBB Intervals programme, a success

The intervals programme of the PRBB has just started. It offers PRBB residents “a break from their normal day to day work, to step back and reflect on the world in which they are embedded and to discuss and learn from each other by sharing ideas”, in words of Elinor Thompson, the organiser of the programme.

The activities of Intervals centre on two main themes:

- Skills and learning for a flexible future
- Biomedicine and Society

So far, a ‘media skills’ workshop took place, given by Eric May. He is American but lives in Germany, and has loads of experience in communication, especially on TV, including 20 years as an editor/producer for CBS in San Francisco.

The workshop was one day and we were about 10 people, mostly PhD students and postdocs (and me! I still don’t know how to define myself…). It was great, and we learned a great deal: about the importance of understanding the audience you are talking to; about how the media professionals and scientists are not that different after all…; how to react in a crisis situation (e.g. a TV interview in which you are suddenly accused of fraud in your research); about how to choose an effective sound bite (and what a sound bite actually is!  a 15-20 seconds stretch of interview that is chosen to be introduced into a news story or documentary. The most important thing is that it has to convey a whole thought); etc.

It was very practical and good fun, and I hope there will be more like this! All partakers participated very actively and I think they all took some good messages home. I certainly did.


Next date for the diary: Tuesday June 3rd (next week!!). Nobel Prize laureate Sir Harry Kroto will come to the PRBB to give a general talk on "Science, society and sustainability” in the morning. At 4pm he will continue with a seminar for PRBB residents, to show us how to communicate science in a creative way…

I won’t miss it!

1 comment:

Okok said...

It was really interesting and Eric May has the kind of personality that inspires and gives confidence!
I was at the first session :) and by the way, I don't know how to define myself either!