“I’ve always been interested in the work of the Society so was excited when the position came up. Quite a few people have said that with the name I have, it’s fate that I ended up here!”
This is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to…Francis Bacon
Where are you based?
Who do you work for?
What type of science communication do you do?
I’m the Digital Communications Editor at the Society so I help people at the Society use digital media to communicate about the organisation’s wide range of activities (e.g. our public events programme, scientific conferences and policy reports) and about the scientists with whom we work (e.g. our Fellows, our grant-funded scientists and winners of our prestigious awards). I’ve also developed some new initiatives including collaborations with Wikipedia and the development of video games about science.
Who is your main audience?
We have lots of audiences: our Fellows, scientists in the UK and abroad, people who are interested in science – and those who aren’t!
How did you get into it?
I previously worked for an online publisher writing content and developing new online products. I’ve always been interested in the work of the Society so was excited when the position came up. Quite a few people have said that with the name I have, it’s fate that I ended up here!
Why do you do it?
I’m interested in how historic organisations like the Royal Society can use digital media to transform their operations and have a greater impact.
Why do you think science communication is important?
I personally believe that science is the most powerful method we have of understanding the world around us and that it can help us to develop solutions for some of the world’s most pressing problems. It’s important that people who aren’t scientists have some understanding of and connection to it.
What do you love about science communication?
I think there are lots of exciting developments at the moment, particularly online. There are a lot of opportunities for using things like social media to make direct connections between scientists and the public.
What has been your favourite project?
I enjoyed working with Wikimedia on our Women in Science edit-a-thon. They kindly gave us an award for the work and we’re planning further collaborations with them.
Do you have any new science communication projects coming up?
We’ve just finished this year’s Summer Science Exhibition, which is our flagship public event for which we developed loads of exciting digital content. We’re starting planning next year’s already!
Any tips for those wanting to get into science communication?
The big opportunities are online: and the growth there is with social media and mobile technology. If you want to have maximum impact, that’s where to go.
You can follow Francis on Twitter at @andeggs or see what he’s up to on his website.