Science communication deals with the dissemination and explanation of scientific ideas, practices and issues to diverse audiences such as industry, government and the general public. Science communication practitioners operate in diverse press offices such as in universities, learned societies, research councils, museums and client-servicing PR agencies such as ours.
Given the broad reach of the science communications industry and the variety of environments it operates in, a support network for such consultants would need to reflect the same diversity – cue… STEMPRA.
STEMPRA, (the STEM Public Relations Association) is a network for science PR and communications professionals with aim for everyone involved in science public relations and press work to have the requisite skills, professional knowledge and recognition, and ethical guidance to do this.
At the recent AGM, I was proud to be elected to the STEMPRA committee – it was a great testament to my work at Proof Communication and my academic background in science as well as comms (I have a BSc in biomedical science and an MA in Science Journalism). The committee leads the association’s activities on behalf of its membership, benefits of which include access to networking events, debates, training workshops and a regular newsletter rounding up latest discussions and resources for the STEM PR community. As STEMPRA’s Newsletter Editor for the next two years, it will be my responsibility to collate the most interesting and relevant stories and experiences for everyone in one, regularly accessible place.
Alongside representatives from NICE, the British Science Association, UCL, Medical Research Council and the Royal Society, incorporating ex-scientists, freelance PR bods and ex-journalists we’re in good company on the committee! Our first meeting agenda consisted of topics as diverse as fun themes for future socials to science policy and the future of the STEMPRA constitution.
Each committee member has some responsibilities specific to their role but together we are all dedicated to providing a forum for members to come together to share their knowledge and experience responsibly for the enhancement of good STEM communication practice. We care about the quality of communication in science, and want to support our members to negotiate the balance between encouraging public interest in STEM while retaining balance and accuracy. As this vision aligns with the work we do at Proof every day, we’re very excited to contribute to this important mission. As the only agency representative on the committee we’re also eager to influence what STEMPRA can particularly do for its corporate members and in turn, use these learnings to provide the best experience for our clients.