Humanising science to engage with new publics
03 Feb 2019



Montserrat Capellas, ESRF




​​Parallel Session 8​​: Communicating Communications 
Wednesday 10 April 14:15 - 16:0​0​​​

Social media has opened the doors of science to people from all walks of life. Scientists themselves are sometimes embracing roles that were conventionally taken on by trained science communicators. Taking into account this revolution, the ESRF’s communication strategy has recently developed new means of reaching the audience through different initiatives on social media by communicating through people. An effective, innovative approach to communication has fulfilled our goals: to reach new audiences, to explain the impact of research to stakeholders and to strengthen and support the development of partnerships towards our 22 partner countries and beyond. 

One initiative is the #HumansofESRF project, which we carried out during 2018, on our 30th anniversary. This consisted of a dedicated website, customised for social media and instagram in particular, based on portrait pictures with a well-thought-out scenography and short quotes from ESRF people or users. With this behind-the-scenes glimpse of what life is like at the ESRF, we show how our cultural diversity, culture of excellence and innovation are the driving forces behind 30 years of success.

Another of these initiatives is the #weekendusers, where we write stories on the science of international teams while they are carrying out experiments at the ESRF. This allows us to show the great variety of research done without a publication in a peer review journal and to promote our partners. We have recently added one-minute video clips to the stories taking into account the new trends on social media. 

Within this digital strategy, we have also organised several #empty events at the ESRF, by inviting instagramers onsite and allowing them to publish “behind-the-scene” pictures of the facility on their accounts. On top of the originality of their artwork, this initiative allows us to reach new public.

Contact: Fletcher, Sara (STFC,RAL,ISIS)