Science Media Savvy

Visit Science Media Savvy –  our pioneering online tool to help scientists work with the media and better inform public debate on the major issues of the day

How to make the most of media coverage

Standing up for Science – A guide to the media for early career scientists (PDF 266KB)
An informal guide to the inner workings of the media with practical tips about how early career scientists can get involved. Produced by Sense About Science, an independent UK charitable trust promoting good science and evidence in public debates.

Resources from the UK Science Media Centre

These leaflets, produced by the UK SMC list effective ways of talking about generic issues that span all of the sciences, within the context of a short interview.

Top Tips for Media Work is a leaflet that can serve as a useful guide for scientists embarking on media work for the first time. You can expect to be contacted at any time by a news journalist wanting an interview on your subject. They require you to react quickly as they are working to tight time deadlines, and it may come as a shock to the unprepared. This leaflet is designed to give you information about how to deal with the situation more effectively and give you just a few easy points you should remember.

Download the Top Tips for Media Work leaflet here. (PDF 950KB)

Peer Review in a Nutshell is a guide for scientists preparing for a news interview about the trustworthiness of a piece of scientific research. This sort of question will often prompt an answer that refers to peer review. But this wrongly assumes that the general public fully understand the process of peer review in scientific research.  We urge scientists to use the opportunity provided by a news interview toOctober 23, 2008 some effective ways to explain peer review in a brief news interview: what it is, how it works, and why scientists rely on it so much. The content of this guide was compiled by a working group of leading scientists, journal editors and journalists.

Read more about Peer Review in a Nutshell (PDF 106KB)

Communicating Risk in a Soundbite is a guide for scientists, doctors and engineers preparing for a broadcast interview, and is the result of a meeting between top scientists and journalists in the UK in 2002. They assessed the best ways to explain risks via the broadcast media, and suggested a whole host of examples. It is not meant to be a definitive ‘best practice’ guide – but offers a choice of effective ways of answering questions about safety and risk.

Note that the guide is intended for use in situations where risks are perceived to be much higher than they actually are. It is not intended to help cover up significant risks or threats to public health.

Read more about Communicating Risk in a Soundbite (PDF 48KB)

Communicating Uncertainty in a Soundbite is a guide for scientists, doctors and engineers preparing for an interview and it offers some effective ways for  to talk about uncertainty.  It is not meant to be a definitive ‘best practice’ guide – but offers a choice of effective ways of answering questions about uncertainty.The content of this guide was compiled by a working group of scientists, press officers and journalists.

Download Communicating Uncertainty in a Soundbite (PDF)

When Animal Research Hits the Headlines is a guide for scientists and doctors preparing for a news interview where questions may be asked about the use of animals in medical research.

It resulted from a meeting between top scientists and journalists in the UK which explored effective ways of answering the most commonly asked questions about animal research in the context of a short news interview.

NB: This leaflet was written in a European context for UK scientists.

Read more about When Animal Research Hits the Headlines (PDF 145KB)