Sci Comms Conference

This is an event from the 2017 edition

A chance to join Pint of Science founder, Michael Motskin, and other communications experts as they share their knowledge of effective science communication through a series of talks, workshops and networking opportunities.


17:00 – Registration
17:10 – Opening session – 15 minutes – Introductory talk by Kay Yeoman (School of Biological Sciences, UEA).
1730 -18:15 – Masterclasses session 1 – three in parallel

  • Visual communications – Peter Moore Fuller, Infohack
  • Social Communications – Chris Bennett, Earlham Institute
  • Marketing & Brands – Michael Motskin, Pint of Science founder

18:20 – 18:55 – Refreshments/food
19:00 – 19:45– Masterclass session 2 – three in parallel

  • Cartoon Your Science – Michelle Reeve & Matthew Partridge, Errant Science
  • Science & Technology Writing – Lauren Razavi, Flibl Labs
  • Science Communications – James Piercy, John Innes Institute

19:50 – 20.10 – Q& A session with masterclass leaders
20:15 – 21:00 – Keynote with Michael Motskin
21:00 –Networking opportunity/Refreshments
21:15 – close


Kay Yeoman – keynote speaker

Kay is a Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at UEA, where she teaches microbiology and science communication. Kay has had a deep interest in microbial mutualistic symbiosis. She is an editor of the FEMS Journal Education theme. Kay organizes a second year microbiology module, where her students conduct a piece of research around commercially available probiotic products, Kay has been awarded prizes for her innovative teaching in both microbiology and science communication. She is a Senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, she was also Chair of the education committee of the British Mycological Society. In 2012 Kay co-authored a book Science Communication: a practical guide for scientists, published by Wiley Blackwell. She is also the director of UEA’s RCUK School:University Partnership Programme. In addition to her microbiology research, she has published numerous pedagogical papers, especially in the area of research-led teaching, and perceptions of research.

Marketing and brands – Michael Motskin (Pint of Science founder)

Organisations often focus on developing and improving their products but overlook the need to allocate resources for branding and marketing. Having a great product or idea is fantastic but it won’t make any impact unless people know about it, and more importantly, love it.

In this masterclass, we will discuss the importance of your branding and marketing strategy. We will look at what makes a great brand and how you can develop a marketing strategy around your brand.

As well as discussing general examples, we look specifically at Pint of Science. It started as a very simple idea – science events in pubs. This wasn’t a new or revolutionary concept, yet it managed to spark the imagination of tens of thousands of people in the UK and around the world. This was largely because of its unique branding, marketing and can-do approach.


Visual communications by Peter Moore Fuller, infohackit

In a new interactive poster workshop, experienced graphic designer and science communicator Peter Moore Fuller (infohackit and MADE Agency) will provide feedback on student posters as the basis for a lively discussion on simple design principles and production skills.

This session is aimed at students who wish to improve their poster design and production skills, and all students attending the workshop are strongly encouraged to submit a poster for feedback. Students are welcome to submit an existing poster or a ‘work in progress’.

Following registration you will be contacted by the workshop organiser with information about the process for poster submission. Please note that places are limited and that if the workshop is oversubscribed, preference will be given to students who submit a poster. All submitted posters will receive feedback (should any poster not be featured in the workshop presentation, individual written feedback will be provided).


Social Communications workshop by Chris Bennett, Earlham Institute

Social Media is a dominant force for instant, global conversation in practically every field, niche and topic, and science is no exception. In this masterclass, Chris Bennett, Digital Communications Manager at Earlham Institute, will show you how to get the most of out using social media, with a focus on Twitter. Topics covered include creating a strategy to communicate your research or group, the tools you need to do this effectively and efficiently, and capturing and analysing data so you can report back on the impact you’re having.

There will also be a behind-the-scenes peek at enterprise level social communications, live data analysis and audience breakdowns, and an introduction to content curation – how to identify and share third-party content to enhance your own presence.


Science Communications workshop by James Piercy, John Innes Institute

James Piercy has spent over 20 years talking to people about science.  Exploring things from balloons with pre-schoolers to brains with adults he has been called ‘the guru of science communication’ and is known for his low-key, prop-free style.

James will share some of the things he has learnt over the years about having a stage presence, controlling a room and how to use voice and body to engage with audiences.

Learn the biggest secret in communication, how to say ‘hello’ and the most important button in powerpoint.


Cartoon Your Science workshop by Errant Science

Love cartoons but don’t think you can draw? Do you have some science that would make a great cartoon? Or have you seen some science that you want to see a silly drawing of? If so, this workshop is for you! We’ll be going through the basics of doodling and cartooning, emphasising that really anyone can do science cartoons, and discussing why cartoons are a great way of communicating your science.

About us: Matthew Partridge (@MCeeP) started ErrantScience as a way of gently poking fun at the everyday life of science and academia. It exists as a weekly blog ( written by Matthew, live cartooning events on Twitter, and talks and outreach at science and comedy festivals and other events. ErrantScience now has a sister blog, Clutter, which features bi-monthly ramblings from guests and from host Michelle Reeve, about science, scientists and academia.

Matthew has a degree in BioChemistry and a PhD in fibre optic sensors, and is currently a post-doc at Cranfield University where he develops optical sensors. Michelle has a degree in Bioveterinary Sciences and did a PhD in spider locomotion, is a self-confessed spider nerd. Both are keen science communicators.

A Masterclass in Science & Technology Writing – Lauren Razavi, Flibl Labs

Communicating complex scientific or technical ideas using the written word is challenging – even for seasoned industry journalists and experienced communications professionals. But there’s never been more need for effective writers in the science sector, as increasingly complex technologies enter the mainstream and the internet encourages more people than ever before to become content producers. This introductory masterclass will offer advice on how to write about science, technology and related topics with both style and substance, as well as outlining the basics of freelance writing for websites and publications.

Lauren Razavi is an award-winning writer and consultant, and managing director of innovation consultancy Flibl Labs in Norwich. Her words have been published in globally acclaimed titles such as The Guardian, Wired, The Atlantic and NPR, and her specialisms include technology, innovation, sustainability and the future. Formerly a member of Google’s content strategy department, today Lauren works with an array of global companies including Philips, Royal Bank of Canada, Emirates and Regus.


A Norwich Science Festival event in collaboration with UEA, supported by UEA Alumni Fund.

Saturday 21 October
The Enterprise Centre, UEA
Free for Norwich Research Park students
All others, £10