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Work in progress: Science communication: a practical guide for designers

Feb 2014

Following our Poster design guide for researchers, we are now working on our third online publication and accompanying workshops.

We know scientists can benefit from learning about design, but equally the design industry needs to be better informed about science in order to be useful to it.

Who is it for
A. The scientific community – to increase empathy with public, encourage government funding, and improve understanding of other sciences.
B. Non scientists – to facilitate informed decision-making and negotiation of our increasingly technological society.

Why is design important for science?
Scientists need involvement with designers because they need help with data visualisation, with communicating statistics, and with communicating science as a process.

Unfortunately collaborations between scientists and designers are problematic because:
1. Most designers are poorly educated about science so scientists are dismissive of their value in this field.
2. Scientists are poorly educated about visualisation for communication so don’t know what they are looking for.
3. Scientists are poorly educated about what design is, commonly confusing it with art, fashion or ‘style’ (see article). Artists have their own messages to impart which confuses the scientific content, so the distinction between art and design needs to be understood.

Call for scientific data
A proposal we are investigating is that programming could be the shared language between scientist and designer (see blog).

This guide will include a programming section for which we need sample scientific data to work with, in order to see how we can create interactive / participatory design solutions.

Is there something useful we could work on for you from a science communication / public engagement point of view? Let us know if you have data that you think we could interpret and we’ll be happy to send you the results of our research.

Contact us

Science communication guide for designers (work in progress)

Science communication guide for designers (work in progress)