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Meet the expert - Elisabetta Tola Meet the expert - Elisabetta Tola

Elisabetta Tola has a PhD in Microbiology and an MA in Science Communication at SISSA, Trieste, Italy. She is a lecturer in science communication, multimedia, radio production and in data journalism in various journalism schools and courses.

 She is co-founder of the science communication agency formicablu, in Bologna and Roma, where she coordinates projects exploring cross-media tools in science communication. She has been one of the presenters of the daily science programme Radio3Scienza on RAI Radio 3 since 2005. Elisabetta is currently involved in the production of the weekly science programme PiGreco Party, on air and in podcast since 2004 on Radio Città del Capo, Bologna. 

In 2010, she worked on seismic risk prevention, producing the docu-fiction Non chiamarmi terremoto. Her recent interest include data journalism and communication of agro-biodiversity.

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RE: Getting in direct contact with scientist and researchers
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Hi all,

while the thread in web&information hopefully will keep going (give us your opinions on this), we want to go a bit far ahead with understanding how you manage to work in close contact with the scientific community:

Matteo was saying that since organising an exhibition takes a long time there is more than one chance to actually discuss with scientists directly

what about the others? do you actually attend conferences?

which kind of conferences? scientific ones or science&society ones?
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RE: Getting in direct contact with scientist and researchers
23/07/12 15:13 as a reply to Elisabetta Tola.
Quote from other thread:

Giogia Bellentani:

Relations with scientists (but it is true woth all cathegories, i.e journalists) needs time in itsealf to be built. I mean you need to build trust and familiarity. You can't just make a ohone call to a reasearch insitute and ask 'waht do you think about....'.

But yes, you and your organizations have to cultivate a good network. What the sense to make science communication and science education without involving sceintists somehow?! Not much in my opinion.

I don't go to proper scientific conference. No time. Moreovere thy are too specific for me.
On the other hands It is a good opportunity to attend to conference ad ECSITE or PCST or HANDS-ON International.


Elisabetta Tola:
matteo merzagora:
an exhibition, or a science events, are things that takes time to build, so there is also time to spend time calling up researchers, asking for advices, etc. I am. it saying that the web is not useful: I use it a lot and with a lot of joy. but it is not the most important or most useful source when you organise exhibitions or events or other "long term activities". with my young collaborators I often have to struggle to convince them to stop sometimes searching the web and make a couple of phone calls and go and talk to people!
mat


Very good point, Matteo!

Does anyone else experience the same? Is it difficult to find time and ways to get the people to actually go out there and talk to scientists and researchers?

Also, another question is: shouldn't conferences and workshops be a good moment to interact with scientists?

Do the people in this group actually attend science conferences as a way to get information and to establish close contacts with the scientific community? And which conferences? The scientific ones or the science&society ones?
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RE: Getting in direct contact with scientist and researchers
23/07/12 16:57 as a reply to Elisabetta Tola.
Do you manage to go to Science and Society conferences, or science communication conferences such as Ecsite or PCST? Is the registration fee and travel easily paid by your institution? I find these costs are a barrier to access the events!

And when you attend those conference, do you actually get interesting results about science communication/education projects or is it more about networking with people?
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RE: Getting in direct contact with scientist and researchers
23/07/12 17:04 as a reply to Elisabetta Tola.
One point more, if you like, could be:
How to 'translate' the scientists points and view in formats which fits to general pubblic or unspecialized teachers or kids.
When you wants to organizes some conferences on one topics, generally you gathers lots of proposals from researches, but often you have to deal and manage their too tecnical approach.
Thus you have to convince them to trust you and take advantage from you experience in science communication for general pubblic. Sometime you have to design with them the speech find the way to make it unformal and interactive.
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RE: Getting in direct contact with scientist and researchers
23/07/12 17:09 as a reply to Des Spolse.
I totally agree that finance might be a barrier at times.

for example, who are able to get funding or grants to take part in these conferences? fees are becoming more and more important and difficolt to face.

another problem, though, is that these conferences might offer, at times, too many sessions and very little chances to actually get in direct contact with scientists and talk to them directly.

what do you think about it?

Des Spolse:
Do you manage to go to Science and Society conferences, or science communication conferences such as Ecsite or PCST? Is the registration fee and travel easily paid by your institution? I find these costs are a barrier to access the events!

And when you attend those conference, do you actually get interesting results about science communication/education projects or is it more about networking with people?
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RE: Getting in direct contact with scientist and researchers
24/07/12 20:10 as a reply to Didier Laval.
Discovering a new subject or diving in depth in a new subject is often more efficient while hearing directly scientists or even better discussing with them - you don't only learn knowklegde but you learn a lot about how they tackle with their subjects - which is an important part of communicating science. As far as i have experienced, web helped a lot but can't really quickly draw a panorama as well as the humans do. Correlatively many scientists and researchers are better than only one.
Web helps to find them and to find the ones who like to exchange. : with a mail adress you can ask for information directly to the scientist - surprisingly some of them just answer OK call
I recently found many researchers web site on a specific subjects and was really better informed of what a happened in some lab through usual newspaper articles uploaded from their web site as pdf than tby the specific article . it allowed to focus after on specific scientific papers on specific subjects. Thus part of the job can be made by labs : just collecting information about them made by others ( but it is a 2nd question)

when enough "up to date" participating a specific conference may help find some new way to communicate science , that researchers won't even have thought about.
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