Campus Gutenberg 2016 on scientific communication

The Scientists Dating Forum led a workshop on creating an elevator pitch in the 6th edition of the Campus Gutenberg.

On 12th September, the Communication Team of Scientists Dating Forum (SciDF) participated in the Campus Gutenberg, a congress devoted to communication and scientific culture. There we conducted a workshop on creating a successful elevator pitch.

The 6th edition of Campus Gutenberg of communication and scientific culture was promoted by the Master in Scientific, Medical and Environmental Communication from Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona School of Management and Bank Foundation “La Caixa”. Its main goal was to consolidate an open space for sharing different channels and formats used in boosting journalism, communication, culture and scientific dissemination from all scopes.

Campus Gutenberg started in the auditorium of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB in Catalan) with a debate on measuring excellence and the impact of science in the Big Data era. We learned how governments and institutions manufacture biased, and therefore useless, university rankings. Other topics were the link between the social impact of science and research funding, and how factors of impact influence the media and society. Science, politics, economics and society all connected in one debate. We were in the right place.

Some groups in our workshop

After this explosive start, six simultaneous workshops—including our own—took place at the Campus Universitari Mar. Our fair share of attendees (about a sixth of total) showed up for our workshop.

After a proper and an awful example of elevator pitch, everyone in the room contributed to highlight the differences between the two. This way we identified the key elements for a successful elevator pitch; not only the proper content, but also body language and voice. Then, in small dynamic groups, everybody had the chance to improvise and improve their own elevator pitch with the aid of their peers and a couple of SciDF instructors. The workshop ended with group conclusions and the exchange of contacts. The SciDF was glad to see the activity had a great reception and we are thankful for the positive feedback.

Our workshop was not the end of the Campus Gutenberg, though. Several activities followed that day and the next. For instance, a debate on the importance of when the media should present a scientific discovery took place. The Orce Man was the case study. Also many workshops were offered with a variety of topics such as how to communicate using TED’s methodology or how to teach science at school.

Lots could be learned about science communication at the Campus Gutenberg. It was a fun and fruitful sharing experience.

Roger Tarrés
Òscar Aznar Alemany
Marta Garcia