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E239 - How to improve your science communications with Dr Richard Berks

““…Charities are in a really unique position in that they have a connection to lots of different communities that don’t necessarily always speak to each other… they’ve got the scientists they fund, they’ve got the patients that are affected by these conditions, they’ve got a foot in the door with policy makers. They’re a centre point for these conversations (about medical research) and the information that people want to get across” – Dr Richard Berks

We spoke with Dr Richard Berks, a freelance science writer to discuss the effective science communications for charities. In this episode, we explore the importance of good science communication within the third sector; how to put trust in your supporters to understand your work; and, how to share the story of medical research.

1. Trust your supporters

It’s vital that you trust your supporters to understand your research and you can’t start from the basis that your audience won’t be able to grasp your work. Of course, you need to translate technical terms into plain English for your audiences but you can still do this in a way that respects their intelligence.

2. Think about multimedia

Storytelling is great tool in any facet of charity comms, and this is still true when it comes to medical research. Bringing out the emotion of your work is always beneficial. Think about adopting videos to share on social media that share the story of your research. Blogs are also a great resource but don’t be afraid to talk about other organisations and how your funded research feeds into the wider topics.

3. The unique positions of charities

A lot of medical research charities are often funding research at an earlier stage in the whole ecosystem of medical research. However, rather than seeing this as a problem, see it as an opportunity and share the potential that your piece in the puzzle is creating. You are not there to solve one big problem but instead are working to take on lots of smaller problems. As a sector, charities are in a unique position to bring all the information together on a certain topic.

This episode of Charity Chat has been brought to you by our platinum sponsor Work for Good. Work for Good believes everyone should be able to turn the work they do into good. Through their fundraising platform, they offer charities a way to engage and work with small businesses, including founders, owners and sole traders who want to make an impact for charities through their sales. To find out more, please visit

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Related episodes that you may be interested in:

E226 - Media training tips with Rob Stewart -

E214 - Writing the perfect brief with Chloe Amstein -

E86 - Charity Comms with Adeela Warley -

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