PLENARY SESSION: Science communication: three steps to impact!

Make a plan 

If you want to have impact, you should have a plan. Why do you want to communicate? Who must hear what you have to say? How can you reach them? And what do you want from them? Esther De Smet (Ghent University, Research Department) will not only ask you a lot of questions, but will also tell you all about how communication can help you to become a better researcher and get more out of your research.

Tell stories

Storytelling is everywhere nowadays, and for a good reason. People love stories that stick. Find the stories behind your research, and you’re already halfway there. As a former journalist at the VRT and editor-in-chief of ‘University of Flanders’, Katleen Bracke knows all about storytelling. She’ll explain to you how you can grab attention, keep it, and get your message across. And, as a bonus she will reveal what you most definitely should know when interacting with the media.

Get inspired

We conclude this plenary session with a panel discussion. Several interesting people will join our two speakers for an inspiring conversation: going from do’s and don’ts, over unexpected ways to reach your audience and dealing with the press, to what they love in science communication. This and a lot more to inspire you.


Esther De Smet is senior research policy advisor at the Research Department of Ghent University. She is involved in developing the university’s research information system and policy on societal value creation and impact. She leads workshops on communication strategy, impact, digital presence and social media. She is the curator of @ResearchUGent.

Katleen Bracke is editor-in-chief of Universiteit van Vlaanderen (University of Flanders), a big science communication project with online scientific colleges and a unique collaboration between all Flemish universities, Knack maga-zine, the Young Academy and VRT. Prior to this she worked at the VRT as editor, journalist and researcher with a special interest in science communication.

Sylvia Wenmackers is a philosopher of science and physicist at the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven. Apart from being a member of the Young Academy, she’s a fervent blogger and tweeter (@SylviaFysica), writes columns for EOS magazine, and answers (children’s) questions at (I’ve got a question).

Philippe Smet works at the department of Solid state sciences at Ghent University. In 2017 he received an annual price for science communication awarded by the KVAB for his original approach to reach a wide audience on the subject of ‘light’. As a curator of the Ghent University contribution to the Light Festival Ghent, he developed a.o. a Self-IR (to generate selfies in infrared light) and paprikabak (bell pepper box, to deceive the eye about the colour of a bell pepper).

Tom Sauer is associate professor international politics at University of Antwerp, and has worked for two years at Harvard University. He specialises in international security and writes a.o. for De Standaard, De Morgen and Last year he published the book ‘De strijd voor vrede. En hoe we die kunnen winnen’ (The fight for peace. And how we can win it).

Nevena Hristozova is a researcher at the Department of Structural Biology Brussels (VUB). She has a PhD in Molecular Biology, and did a postgaduate in Science Communication and Outreach at KU Leuven. She works as a scientific project manager in the European branch of an international public-private research foundation. As a freelance science communicator, she is passionate about life sciences, podcasting and twitter chats.

Martijn Peters has a PhD of sciences and is currently working as science communication officer at UHasselt. In 2016 he won the Vlaamse wetenschapsbattle (Flemish Science Battle) as well as an annual price for science communication by the KVAB. He was the lead-organizer of TEDxUHasselt 2016 and focusses on using the strength of social media for communicating science and changing how people see scientists (twitter: @MartijnPeters_, instagram: stories.of.a.scientist).


There's also science on science communication! If you read only one article - dixit Esther De Smet - let is be this one.

Plenary session
Auditorium GA2, O&N1 04.14
Date and time: 
dinsdag, 3 juli, 2018 - 10:00 tot 12:15
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