Communicating Clearly about Science and Medicine : Making Data Presentations as Simple as Possible ... But No Simpler book cover
1st Edition

Communicating Clearly about Science and Medicine
Making Data Presentations as Simple as Possible ... But No Simpler

ISBN 9781409440376
Published April 28, 2012 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

Scientific communication is challenging. The subject matter is complex and often requires a certain level of knowledge to understand it correctly; describing hazard ratios, interpreting Kaplan Meier curves and explaining confounding factors is different from talking about a new car or clothing range. Processes, for example in clinical trials, are laborious and tedious and knowing how much of the detail to include and exclude requires judgement. Conclusions are rarely clear cut making communicating statistical risk and probability tough, especially to non-statisticians and non-scientists such as journalists. Communicating Clearly about Science and Medicine looks at these and many more challenges, then introduces powerful techniques for overcoming them. It will help you develop and deliver impactful presentations on medical and scientific data and tell a clear, compelling story based on your research findings. It will show you how to develop clear messages and themes, while adhering to the advice attributed to Einstein: 'Make things as simple as possible...but no simpler.' John Clare illustrates how to communicate clearly the risks and benefits contained in a complex data set, and balance the hope and the hype. He explains how to avoid the 'miracle cure' or 'killer drug' headlines which are so common and teaches you how to combine the accuracy of peer-to-peer reviewed science with the narrative skills of journalism.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: about this book; Science communication in the 21st century; The seven challenges of communicating science; Preparing your talk; Illustrating your talk; The performance: delivering your talk; Medicine and science in the media; Media interview techniques; Every interaction counts; Index.

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John Clare is an internationally renowned media, communications and crisis consultant who coaches leaders from the medical, pharmaceutical and scientific industries. He holds the prestigious Communiqué Judges Award for Outstanding Healthcare Communication. Following 18 years in journalism, as a reporter, producer and broadcast presenter for ITN, and commissioning editor for the Daily Mail newspaper, John founded LionsDen Communications in 1992.


'This is one of the most useful books I have read in years. It is jam-packed with useful tips and insights. The importance of communication in science has increased dramatically in recent years - both for communicating with our scientific peers, and for engaging with the public. This is an extremely readable book, which is hugely informative and a thoroughly engaging read. It is full of practical wisdom, with the key-points fixed in the mind by numerous memorable quotes and entertaining examples. My only regret is that I was not able to read this book thirty years ago!' Sir Martin Taylor, Merton College, Oxford, UK 'John Clare's book is a must read for all doctors and scientists involved in presenting results of medical research. Any Pharmaceutical PR consultant who does not know it intimately should be sacked. It is full of invaluable advice rules and examples for presentation to every type of audience. Here are just two, 9X1=0 3X3=1 and use the Judas trap to defend your data. If you are not familiar with these buy the book.' Dr David White, Professor of Pathology and Surgery, Schulich School of Medicine, University of Western Ontario 'A super prescription for great communications. Simple, practical and easy to implement for immediate success.' pharma industry comms professional 'In this very readable book by media expert John Clare, effective communication techniques are presented and contextualized in a comprehensive and well-structured fashion. John articulates the challenges of communicating science in the 21st century in the opening part of the book. His second chapter on the seven challenges of communicating science is particularly useful; the preparations for the talk, the illustrations, and the delivery that follow are also very valuable. In later chapters, John further contextualizes medicine, science and communication. Given John's strong background in television, the interview techniques he outlines are especially insightful, with his concluding