Recently, the Swedish organisation Vetenskap & Allmänhet (‘Public & Science’) launched an animation project where they want to reach out to children and youngsters. The first video has the title What is Science? (“Vad är vetenskap?”) and was produced in cooperation with the National Food Agency.
Crastina got in touch with the project leader Fredrik Brounéus.
Hi Fredrik. Tell us about the ”What is science” video, and why VA decided to produce it?
The video is part of a project aiming to increase children’s and young people’s knowledge about what science and research really is. We are all affected by science and technology in our everyday lives, so a basic understanding of science is needed if we are to understand research-related issues and scientific arguments. It can be about being able to interpret the news, and to make informed decisions for example on health and environmental issues.
We are now looking for partners to join the project and produce more films. For example, about different scientific disciplines, the history of science, research funding, the publishing process and how to become a researcher. The idea is that teachers should also be able to use the clips in the classroom. We’re aiming for light-hearted and easy to understand, without compromising the hard facts.
What can early career scientists learn from your initiative?
Video clips can be a great way of communicating about your research. The format is ideal for explaining complex concepts and a wide variety of audiences can be reached through online videos. By responding to comments and questions on your video, you have an opportunity to interact and engage in dialogue with your audience. Tell an interesting story, and don’t be afraid to use humour to get your message across.
Give three pieces of advice to science and tech organisations who want to produce an animated video with the help of a multi-professional group!
- Research your target audience. What do they know? What would you like them to know? What kind of video clips seem to work for the intended audience? Look at popular video clips and engage members of the target audience in discussions during the development of your video.
- Think about how you are going to market the video. Which networks can you use? Are there organisations with good connections to your target group who are willing to spread the word?
- Use feedback and comments on your video to engage your target group in dialogue.
More about the project in English on VA’s website.
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