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His tips can increase your impact in society

Graphic: Spread research, Ulrika Georgsson
Graphic: Ulrika Georgsson
Published Feb 08, 2021

Are social media really relevant to a researcher? And why must researchers communicate what they are doing? Wouter van der Wijngaart wants his fellow researchers to become better communicators and make an impact in society.

Sign up for my seminar:
​​​​​​​“Increase your impact - tips, tricks and first steps” ​​​​​​​ 25 February, 11.00-12.00.

Zoom link to the Seminar

Seminar Increase your impact Professor Wouter van der Wijngaart:  

Zoom link to WS/discussion groups: TBD

Why don’t more researchers communicate with the general public?

"Because they are not convinced of the value behind this, thinking, 'Where is the proof that this helps?' They also have other things to do that they value more, and sometimes simply because they’re lazy."

Why is it important to spread your research?

"It’s all about spreading your ideas so that others can benefit from them – other researchers or companies. It’s also important for the public to have access to research results. Your research’s results are your impact, your contribution to a brighter tomorrow.”

Why aren’t scientific journals enough?

"The most obvious reason is that only researchers within a small research field will find your work here. People or organizations that could benefit from your results may miss their existence. But there are many reasons for marketing your research, like citations, branding, etc."

What channels would you recommend?

"The ones used by the people you want to reach:

  • LinkedIn for reaching peers and professionals in your field, and for reaching those one step higher than you on the TRL level (identify specific channels focused on your field!)
  • Facebook for a wider audience/potential end-users (identify specific channels focused on your application area!)
  • Twitter to reach politicians? But I’m not at all familiar with Twitter."

So how do you make, often complicated, reseach accessible to a broader audience?

“By simplifying the message and explain why your research is important.”

How much time do you spend communicating your work?

"Typically, four hours in direct conjunction with a new scientific publication."

What’s your recommendation to a researcher on how to get started?

"Start simple. Do something instead of nothing: Update Wikipedia with a link to a recent article? Write a LinkedIn post? And: Sign up for my seminar:
​​​​​​​“Increase your impact - tips, tricks and first steps” ​​​​​​​ 25 February, 11.00-12.00."

Read the articles:

How the researcher becomes a better communicator, "Don't be afraid to simplify" ​​​​​​​