Effective communication of expertise is essential in any job market. Within the sciences in particular, communicating to the general public presents real-world implications, especially in impacting the public’s health and voting decisions. Practicing writing for diverse audiences “outside of the academic silos” is valuable. Where better to practice it than on Wikipedia where the public is already going for their information about science?
In Wiki Education’s professional development courses, you’ll create and expand Wikipedia articles about your discipline – an exercise in which your concise writing can potentially reach millions.
“The scientific community values elegant experiments and transformative results only when they are communicated effectively,” Maggie Kuo writes in Science Mag. Distilling your research and expertise into relevant articles on Wikipedia provides an excellent place to practice and can have a lasting, valuable impact on information accessibility.
“As a field applications scientist, I work with customers of every disposition, temperament, background, and experience level imaginable, sometimes all in the same room at the same time,” writes Kuo. “I’m able to do that because I had a breadth of experiences adapting my communication style to a wide range of different audiences. … For Ph.D. candidates and postdocs needing more communications practice, I would strongly recommend getting out of your silos and looking for opportunities both inside and outside of academia.”
As Renee Polziehn articulates for the University of Alberta graduate programs, a key part of a graduate education is taking responsibility for the impact of one’s own research. The communication of that research to citizens, stakeholders, and other researchers is important. As we know, the public looks to Wikipedia to understand science. And so do scientists! Wikipedia offers a huge educational platform. We’ll help you identify where you can make the biggest impact with your science communication efforts.
Wiki Education announces new virtual professional development courses every few months. Sign up to be on our mailing list or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to buy out a course for your institution’s faculty. To learn more about our current and past offerings, visit learn.wikiedu.org.