The WFSJ’s Health Committee has embarked on a project with the World Health Organisation (WHO). The experience of the pandemic has triple-underscored a lesson we all know too well: the communication of science is critical to success in targeting health issues. The WHO has laid plans to improve science communication with a manual targeting a range of actors.
“Translating science into messages, recommendations and actions that are easily comprehensible, accessible and relevant to different audiences is a vital element of health emergency preparedness. An ongoing dialogue between researchers, the public, the media, the health workforce and decision-makers is crucial to increase understanding, trust and engagement in science and public health measures based on such science,” writes the team putting the manual together.
The WHO’s chosen audiences include journalists, and the team approached the WFSJ’s Health Committee to put together the chapter in this manual that is aimed at our colleagues.
We have been working on the methodology we will use to provide solid evidence for what works in communicating science, with examples of outstanding work and suggestions for tools that can be used to create better understanding and get the messages across. Part of our brief is to consider preparation for the next pandemic, and our hope is that, together with the WHO, we will craft a useful and helpful tool that journalists can turn to when the heat is on.
We’ll be turning to colleagues in member associations to gather information, ideas and examples, so watch your inbox!