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23 July 2019
Communicating Research: Ten tips from Wits

In 2008, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) paleoanthropologist Lee Berger and his young son, Matthew, were exploring a dig site in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa, when Matthew came across a fossilised hominid clavicle and mandible with a tooth embedded in rock. Realising what he was looking at, Dr Berger couldn’t believe his eyes. The fossil belonged to a young male, whose skull was found a year later.

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Research Uptake Guidance (May 2013)

This new guidance note on Research Uptake produced by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) provides some information on the donor’s approach to Research Uptake and practical advice for designing a Research Uptake strategy. Intended as a “beginner’s guide”, some parts of the document may seem simplistic to those who have been involved in Research Uptake for a long time. However, it is still useful in that it provides a simple overview setting out DFID’s approach.

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Strategies and Tools that Facilitate Research Uptake Part II: A working model
Availing research institutions of Research Uptake strategies and tools without their buy-in and cooperation is futile. By itself, a gun is not a killing machine; place it in human hands and it becomes a potential tool for killing. Equally, the Research Uptake strategies and tools discussed in this and my previous blog are not effective on their own. They need the will and passion of people (researchers and scientists) to reach the end users and thus contribute to improving our societies.
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Science Communication Planning: Not easy, but very rewarding

Science communication planning may seem like a piece of cake – that is until you get stuck in and try to develop a “real-world” communication strategy for a “real-world” research project. That was one of the key insights that emerged from the three-day science communication planning workshop held at Stellenbosch University a while ago. The other one was that the planning process can be greatly rewarding, if you get it right.

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University radio as a tool for Research Uptake
African universities have long recognised the value of broadcasting on their own radio stations. From relatively humble beginnings as informal, largely student-run community-based stations that sprung up in the early 1980s, predominantly in South Africa, university-run radio stations have become a staple in many countries across the continent.
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