Science Communications & Knowledge Synthesis
Communicating the outcomes of scientific projects and programs to a broader non-technical audience can be challenging, but is an imperative and often necessary part of environmental work.
Effective communication of project plans and findings can help to raise public awareness, encourage stakeholder engagement, improve transparency, and build trust, all of which directly contributes to improved project outcomes. However, communication of scientific projects is most often limited to dense technical reports not accessible to many of the stakeholders affected by the work.
ESSA’s scientific expertise is complemented by training in public relations, communications, and publication-quality graphic design using the Adobe Creative Suite. And, in a sector where scientific accuracy is key, entrusting your communications needs to scientists trained in this discipline reduces the risk that something gets lost in translation. Let us help you make your science matter by communicating your work on the broader platforms where it can make a difference.
We know that people understand and remember abstract, complex, or dense technical concepts more efficiently and effectively when information delivered through the use of both text and visuals. Creating visually-oriented summaries of major project components through the use of custom diagrams, illustrated brochures, data report cards, or infographics leverages the much broader bandwidth of the visual pathway to allow your audience to see, explore, and understand much larger amounts of information at a glance. Presenting this key information in an intuitive and appealing format also provides a quick-reference roadmap that encourages users to find and engage with more detailed information in conventional project outputs.
Directly including project partners in the development of these science through participatory science communication practices can help to further strengthen the sense of ownership, relevance, and resonance of these messages for the audiences they are intended to reach. Bridging our skillsets in facilitation, engagement, and science communications allows us to co-develop science communications strategies and products across a spectrum of participatory engagement, from simply integrating narratives and visuals provided by project partners to providing the training and support needed to empower those partners to tell their own stories on their own terms.
Our services in this space include:
- knowledge synthesis through intensive literature review , surveys, interviews, and expert elicitation to provide our clients with complete, clear, and concise baseline information for future project scoping and planning
- science communications strategies and guidance to assist technical experts and teams in crafting and communicating their message to a broader non-expert audience
- data report cards capable of condensing and conveying quantitative environmental data to facilitate decision-making by natural resource managers
- original infographics capable of condensing and conveying the key issues and outcomes from large, complex, and densely documented projects at a glance in a single poster format
- original vector illustrations including logos, flow diagrams, custom figures or schematics to clearly present complex scientific concepts
- visually-rich document layouts for “glossy” reports, brochures, and public outreach materials that help draw in and maintain reader attention
Key projects showcasing these services:
- Coastal Adaptation State of Play for Natural Resources Canada (knowledge synthesis paired with infographic)
- Assessing the International Market for Canadian Adaptation Goods and Services for Natural Resources Canada (infographics)
- Invasive Species Policy Summary Graphic for the Marine Plan Partnership (original vector figure)
- Skeena River Estuary Habitat Report Cards for the Pacific Salmon Foundation (data report cards)
- Strategic Stock Restoration Initiative Public Program Overview Brochure for the Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee (glossy public outreach brochure)
Science Communication Philosophy and Sample Portfolio
To see ESSA’s approach to inclusive science communications for multiple audiences, which includes links to science communications products from multiple projects, you can browse a presentation of our science communication philosophy and portfolio presented at the Society for Canadian Aquatic Sciences in 2023