EP#53: Science communications, with Dr Melanie Bagg

Melanie is a PhD qualified medical research scientist and award winning professional science communicator. Currently CEO of the National Youth Science Forum, Melanie is focused on delivering transformative youth-led experiences for young Australians to encourage life-long participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course and having experience in higher education, media and NFP sectors, Melanie brings over 15 years of expertise in STEM management, fundraising, science communication, outreach, publishing and media for the not-for-profit and higher education sectors.

Melanie is particularly interested in using digital platforms to help connect wide audiences with STEM. In 2016 Melanie was awarded the Unsung Hero of SA Science Communication for her commitment to translating complex science into something we can all understand. Recently, Melanie led the establishment of a video production and social media distribution capability that has connected over 1.5 million people with evidence-based science on Facebook alone.

Melanie is a member of the Advisory Board for the ARC Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics (CNBP) and is Chair of their Education and Outreach Committee.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Coronavirus, from a communications perspective
  • ‘Fake news’ and misinformation
  • Communicating for decision-makers and the public
  • Knowing your field, when to communicate and when not to
  • Keeping a focus on audience needs
  • Communicating accurately while meeting tight deadlines
  • Melanie’s approach to changing the brand image of the Australian Academy of Science
  • Building an audience from 9,000 to 1,000,000
  • Using communications to achieve business objectives