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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Beating infections without jargon

Click here for our NAMRIP Short Films on AMR without jargon !

Communication between scientific disciplines is increasingly important, yet scientists are not trained for this. NAMRIP uses public engagement exercises to help researchers understand each other.

Image of workshop attendees
Attendees at first 'Beating infections without jargon' workshop

We won initial funding for this project from the Public Engagement in Research team. The public have a huge role to play in combatting AntiMicrobial Resistance (AMR). If unchecked, AMR will kill more people than cancer by 2050, and cost the global economy more than the current size of the global economy. This project trains AMR academics and researchers to communicate effectively, both across disciplines and with the general public.

So far we have run two workshops with the goal of increasing the quality of communication between AMR scientists and the public. LifeLab was our partner in the first workshop. LifeLab runs public engagement training and the popular program Meet the Scientist where secondary school pupils get to talk with research scientists on an informal basis.

Explaining without jargon

Group listening to elevator pitches
Listening to elevator pitches

The first workshop focused on cutting out unnecessary jargon using an elevator pitch exercise. The exercise requires researchers to explain their research in plain English in thirty seconds or less. Often researchers do not even realize how technical their explanations are. At the beginning of the workshop everyone was asked to introduce themselves and their research. Several participants took well over two minutes for their introduction and used many technical words that people outside their scientific discipline would not understand. By the end of the workshop, everyone was much more aware of their jargon use and was able to clearly explain their research in plain English within the thirty second limit.

Preparing exhibits

The second workshop was held a week later for anyone who could not attend the first workshop and it concentrated on improving their exhibits for the NAMRIP Launch conference on December 14th. This was followed by an exhibition preview to help exhibitors streamline presentations for the December conference. All the researchers were extremely interested in each other’s presentations. By preparing to present to the public the barriers of communication between disciplines were lowered. This made the research more approachable even to other scientists.

NAMRIP short films

We held two additional communication events. In response to interest in the elevator pitches we borrowed equipment for filming and helped participants film short videos of their elevator pitches for use at the conference and for their own purposes. The results were outstanding. We intend to continue to make short films about AMR research so get in touch if you would like to take part.

NAMRIP Exhibition

 

Dame Sally Davies touring the exhibits
Dame Sally Davies touring the exhibits

Many of the workshop participants exhibited their research at the Network for Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Prevention Launch conference. They found they benefitted from the workshop communication training and several interdisciplinary research contacts were formed during the exhibition.

We are planning a training pack for the communication workshop so it can be implemented by other research groups.

Image of public interacting with an exhibit
Public interacting with exhibits

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank University of Southampton’s Public Engagement in Research Team for their support both intellectually and financially. This project would not have happened without their development funding call. We would also like to thank the executive committee of NAMRIP for their guidance and allowing us to assist with their December 2015 launch conference. Many thanks are also due to the EPSRC for the funding of NAMRIP and the launch conference. Finally we wish to thank LifeLab for contributing their experience and expertise.

Related News Stories

NAMRIP members win funding for 'Beating infections without jargon'

'Beating infections without jargon'

NAMRIP exhibition taking shape

NAMRIP Launch Conference Success

Chief Medical Officer praises Southampton’s multidisciplinary approach

 

NAMRIP Members Craig Dolder, Tim Leighton and Nikhil Mistry

 

 

 

 

 

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