Science Communication: how to engage your stakeholders

Instructor Ana Prieto Rodriguez and Chiara Trevisin
Modality In presence
Duration 6 hours
Period Second semester

08/11/2022 at 17:00-19:00
09/11/2022 at 17:00-19:00
10/11/2022 at 19:00-21:00

Course objectives

This module is embedded in the Challenge “Communicating responsible innovation in the Italian tanning industry for Design and Fashion”. No credits will be awarded separately for this module.


“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. This is a clear prescription for disaster.” — Carl Sagan.

Today people are overwhelmed by science and technology – and still, struggle to understand them – more than Sagan would have ever predicted.
Sci-Tech companies look for solutions to offer to their customers but they are often unable to understand the full potential of academic research.

Researchers, on their side, are asked to provide to the public the tools to better understand sci-tech topics and need to engage companies to support their research. For these two reasons, researchers cannot avoid being also
Through this course, participants will learn to deal with two targets: the investors of their research projects, and the general public who will benefit from their results, products or services. Participants will be introduced to the principles of effective science communication and learn which are the best communication solutions for each target. Through cases studies about knowledge or prejudices on science and technology or innovation research we will work to improve target engagement.
The ultimate goal of this course is to teach how to reach the third mission (or third stream) of our universities and public research centers: to involve the academic world in the needs of society.

Content summary

How to communicate to your grandma (and all the others not academic people)
  • Main mistakes of academics’ communication;
  • Target analysis: discovering “people out of the academic world” we will focus on specific and effective communication tools;
  • Practical exercises to learn how to use time, body language and language
    proficiency to communicate research results;
  • How to measure the effectiveness of the third mission;
How to convince investors – I will be the next Steve Jobs
  • Communication to stakeholders: who they are, how to engage them and how to maintain them;
  • Brand identity and graphic tools
  • Main communication mistakes;
  • Theory and practical exercise on how to plan a pitch (idea, value proposition, market, competitors, etc.)

Thanks to the previous sessions, participants will develop a collaborative
communication project, deciding between a communication project for business or a pop-science/research/innovation communication project. Each team will be encouraged to share its project in a communication challenge, receiving the teachers’ feedback and most importantly being peer-reviewed and voted by the other teams.

Teaching methods

Flipped classroom, personalized learning-by-doing and challenge-based learning.
The course will fit the specific needs of the participants: we will listen to every need and engage the participants to work in a team. They will be involved in practical exercises and a team project followed by a shared evaluation.
The main goal is to help the participants to gain communication tools and expertise they can immediately spend.


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