I’ve stumbled upon this cute, yet useful handbook on how to organise an outreach event. It was written to assist project initiators from Africa that took part in the programme “Promotion de la Culture scientifique et technique” run by the Institute de la Recherche pour le Developpement, at the request of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. (2007)
I’d like to quote only a few things from the handbook to give a snapshot of what it contains.
According to the authors, a science educator should have the following qualities, which I believe are a comprehensive mix covering all steps of a communication plan:
- A rigorous approach and a strong aptitude for analysis to acquire the knowledge and a good command of scientific methods -> research!
- An aptitude for communication for capturing the public’s attention -> communicate!
- A good listening ability to adapt to the public, meet their interests, arouse their ideas -> target!
- A facility for explaining to make complex information easy to understand -> translate!
- A sense of organization for planning and carrying through group activities -> plan!
- A generous dose of creativity! for designing appealing activities -> be original and outrageous!
But there are plenty of other very practical tips! Here’s another one I loved: The scientific process founds itself on the known to explore the unknown, so begin to explain from simple, every day situations to more complex contexts. There’s also a French word left un-translated. See if you can spot it 😉