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New ways of communicating science - 'the PES video'

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We recently developed a 3 minute video to help us introduce and communicate an academic concept, and we’re interested to share ideas about this.

In the SEGS Group we are committed to communicating the results of our research to different audiences outside academia. To achieve that, we produce research briefs and non-technical reports and we participate in different non-academic events and forums. We are trying to innovate in the way we communicate with the public and other groups, and are experimenting with new technologies and approaches (as with this blog!). One of the new things that we are trialling is producing short videos and making them accessible in YouTube. We are interested in receiving feedback and ideas about this.

Below you can find a 3 minutes clip on “Payments for Ecosystem Services” (PES) that we produced in collaboration with GRID-Arendal, a UNDP Centre for Environmental Knowledge for Change.  PES projects provide rewards to ecosystem managers for maintaining or improving the provision of services.  They are often advocated in situations where environmental problems (e.g. deterioration of water quality) might be redressed through the creation of ad-hoc markets (e.g. payments to farmers for changing some agricultural practice).

The challenge here was how to communicate a complex issue in a simple way.  We wished to produce something short and appealing, yet without oversimplifying. For example, we wanted to avoid giving the impression that the PES concept is a panacea that can work in all cases. Also, we wanted to make sure that people understood that research is ongoing: the effectiveness and potential problems with PES are currently being studied. At the same time we wanted people to be stimulated by the idea of PES and invite them to find more about it.

Have we managed to do this? Do you think this is a good tool for communication? Do you think this could be used for other concepts or in other situations?    We are also interested in exploring ways of measuring the impact of these kinds of products. Currently we are monitoring the number of YouTube views and we also note down when a colleague tell us that he/she has used in their teaching modules. Can you think of other ways of measuring impact? We're interested to learn other people's views about this and other communication methods.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author(s), and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Printed from /blogs/new-ways-communicating-science-pes-video on 29/01/23 10:10:41 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.