MRM Stories: Infographic Explainers – A Way to Make Our Research More Accessible
What are the MRM members up to? Learn more about their work and achievements in the MRM Stories. Here, Brenden Moeun, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Science Education Fellow at the Office of Science Education, discusses his new science communication project that aims to make our science more accessible.
Do you have good news to share? A recently published paper or an award you would like to promote in the MRM Stories? Contact us at email@example.com!
MRM Stories: Infographic Explainers – A Way to Make Our Research More Accessible, Include Our Stakeholders, and Celebrate Our Triumphant Victory Over Reviewer #2
When we open up the PDF to an exciting new journal article in our field, we are at home. We know where all the information is, the figures can be read almost instantaneously, and the language used is familiar and descriptive. This is not the case for the other 99% of people who might be interested in science. As scientists, the niche datasets and jargon that we are used to seeing on daily basis often keep non-specialist audiences from engaging with our work. Whether it be interested businesses, policymakers, donors that fund our research, or even other scientists who might want to collaborate, the way that we share our research is done in a way that can exclude these people. On top of this, for graduate students who are just starting their academic careers, investing so much time into a project that is difficult to share with friends and family can be isolating.
Because of this, I have launched a personal science communication project where I hope to work with other graduate students and researchers to create visual explainers of their recent or upcoming publications, presentations, or other projects. I wanted to start this to share my love for science communication and encourage a mindset around sharing what we do with the general public. My goal is to be able to grow my science communication skills alongside the researchers I work with and provide a way for young scientists to celebrate their achievements within their non-specialist circles.
Although I envision that this project could transition into an entrepreneurial venture, I am currently focused on simply generating a portfolio. I have kicked off my project with one of our lab’s newest publications on using 3D-printed sugar glass to generate perfusable tissue-engineered constructs. This also happens to be the first chapter of my thesis and for what it is worth, the process of crafting the story/concept of this piece, creating the infographic explainer, and sharing it with the people in both my personal and professional life was so rewarding.
To shamelessly plug my work and also give an idea of what I am looking to create, you can check out my infographic explainer below. For anyone interested, please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.