Dr Anna Hansell will be spekaing based on her SAHSU experience. The following is the abstract for the talk she will be given.
Communicating scientific results to general audiences and the lay public is important, but can be challenging. This might include situations where knowledge of study methods used is important, where statistical uncertainty may influence interpretation, or when results disagree with past findings. Examples and lessons learnt will be presented. The Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) Environment and Health Atlas was published in 2014 both as a book for academic audiences and website for the public (www.envhealthatlas.co.uk). SAHSU worked with the NGO Sense About Science to identify and reach target audiences, which resulted in modification of formats, text and maps presented. A press conference was held on the day of publication and the atlas was featured on Radio 4’s Today programme resulting in >200,000 individuals accessing it. Other examples will include publications resulting in positive and less positive engagement with the press, and reports formulated for wide general use such as the Royal College of Physicians report ‘Every breath we take’. Patient and public engagement (PPE) and involvement (PPI) in research is increasingly being required by funding bodies. This may help develop better communication with the public and lay audiences as they become more involved in research both at planning stages for grant applications, and in disseminating results of projects.