Building Blocks of Virtuous Science Communication: Grant Funding, Policy Making, and Public Engagement.
Caballe A., Bardelli M.
Grant writing, science policy and public engagement (PE) activities are forms of science communication, and all are essential for research to function and benefit our society. Scientists rely on competitive grant funding to finance their research; this is an opportunity for researchers to communicate their scientific vision and engage funders, major players in defining how public funds and government policies are prioritized to drive research and innovation. PE is often still seen as a box-ticking or persuasion exercise, yet establishing the right communication channels with the public is pivotal for a scientist's job to impact society. We believe that evidence-based communication is becoming essential in a world dominated by an excess of information, where verified sources are under pressure. Support in the form of dedicated training and allocated resources, particularly for early career researchers, can help establish what we describe as a long-lasting virtuous circle, in which public funds are spent effectively toward scientific advances that the public and policy makers can embrace.