About

About the session
Over the past few months some of us from the charity science communicators LinkedIn group decided to propose a session at the Science Communication Conference on how charities engage with different audiences on emotive or technically difficult topics. There are huge numbers of possible examples and each medical research charity will have examples that cut across all other charities (animal research / stem cell research) as well as very specific topics that are health-condition-specific. Kelly, Jess and Jo joined forces with Jenny and Amir to combine our joint interests in talking about things that might be challenging to communicate (Jenny and Amir are talking to people about  sensitive issues relating to body donation, although not from a charity perspective).

Each of the panellists has experience of talking with a range of audiences about different topics. Rather than come up with a comprehensive list of awkward discussions we’ve restricted ourselves to one or two examples each which we’ll share with the audience to set the scene.

After that we’ll move on to the tables (you’ll already be sitting at your first table session) where we’ll discuss a particular theme for ten minutes and get some ideas and questions. Then the panellists will move to another table and the topic will change – in all, everyone will have the opportunity to chat about four different topics.

You can find out more about the session set up on this page:
https://communicatingtrickytopics.wordpress.com/session-information/

About this site
The purpose of this site is to capture more information than can be captured in the time allotted for the session – basically, we did the maths! With less than a minute of potential discussion time for each person attending not only do the panel speakers have to keep to time but the ensuing discussion does too. This means that, with the best will in the world, we won’t be able to capture everything people want to say and so we’ve built this site so that the panellists can add more and anyone can comment after the session. You can log in with a WordPress account if you have one but if not you can comment via Twitter or Facebook too, or without logging in at all (the sytem requires a name and email address, which isn’t shown). We thought it was sufficiently open for anyone to comment anonymously or publicly.

About communicating tricky topics
The panellists will be writing some blog posts individually about our experiences of talking about sensitive issues and we hope readers will join in too. Once we have a few more blog posts we’ll update this section and signpost to some of them.

About the speakers
Speakers’ bios can be found in the links up at the top of the blog.

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