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Lay Communication: Using Microbiology to Connect With the Public


15 March 2023


Dr Saskia Bindschedler, UniNE

Prof. Pilar Junier, UniNE 


Kenneth Timmis Hanna Marti Alexander Harms Kurt Hanselmann TBD (NCCR Microbiomes)


Science skepticism and the poor transfer of scientific knowledge beyond academic circles represent barriers to overcome to deal more effectively with upcoming societal challenges such as the climate and biodiversity crises, as well as for fighting future pandemics. Therefore, dissemination of scientific knowledge beyond peer-communication should become a priority for all scientists. However, lay communication is not yet a component of the typical curriculum in university training. Despite the fact that microbiology can be a challenging topic to communicate, it also offers a great terrain to train a future generation of communication skilled professionals. The general public has, more often than not, being exposed to a microbiology-related subject. However, these are generally associated to the negative impact of microorganisms on human life. Therefore, changing this perception is a great training for future generation of scientist. In this course, multiple examples of science-communication initiatives and activities will be presented to the participants by the instigators of the activities. In the second part of the day, a general discussion on the creation of a Swiss-wide network of initiatives in science communication in microbiology across Switzerland will be discussed. In addition, after the in-person activity, specific actions to be undertaken by the participants will be proposed. Those include their participation to the creation of materials for the International Microbiology Literacy Initiative



09:00-09:30           Registration

09:30-09:40            Welcome and organization - Pilar Junier

09:40-10:20            The international Microbiology Literacy Initiative - Ken Timmis

10:20-10:40             Coffee break

10:40-11:20              Invite a Friend to a Lab Crawl - Hanna Marti

11:20-12:00              Lay Communication NCCR Microbiomes - Eavan Dorcey

12:00-13:40             Lunch Break

13:40-14:20             Microbes go to school - Saskia Bindschedler

14:20-15:00             Basel Summer Science Academy - science outreach goes viral - Alexander Harms

15:00-15:30             Coffee break

15:30-16:10              Playing with MyKrobs - Gilbert Greub

16:10-16:50              TBD – Kurt Hanselmann


16:50-17:30              General discussion and preparation of 2nd day 



University of Neuchâtel - Room D71 - Av. 1er Mars 26


Reimbursements for CUSO students:

- Train ticket, 2°class, half-fare from your institution to the place of the activity.

- NO reimbursement for your meal expenses.


Deadline for registration: 08 March 2023



Deadline for registration 08.03.2023
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