The term 'science communication' can mean different things to different people. There are a huge range of careers that involve communicating science, whether that's in the traditional sense of being a presenter (either on TV, radio, or live events...), working at a university or museum, or planning a science festival.
Many of the people working in science communication have followed a traditional route of studying a science degree at university, before starting their career. Not all have though! You can see how a range of people got started in the science communication in our careers profiles, where we've interviewed people in a number of different jobs, about how they ended up doing what they do.
Anyone age 11-18 can enter the National Science + Engineering Competition - if you've got a great project, you might be selected to present it at the National Finals, to thousands of people, a fantastic way to get some first-hand experience of communicating science!
A great way to see some science communication in action is to attend a science festival. That might be the British Science Festival (which moves around every year) - or one that happens near your hometown. Manchester, Edinburgh. Bradford, Oxfordshire, Cambridge, Glasgow, Brighton and many other areas host big science festivals every year, where you can see science communicators in action.
Over 18s can be nominated by their college/university to receive a student bursary, which allows them to attend the British Science Festival for the week, covering the cost of accomodation and food.
There are a number of resources that older students may find useful:
PSCI-COM is a free email discussion list of about 2000 science communicators from a wide variety of backgrounds. BIG chat is the discussion list for the British Interactive Group (BIG), a group of science presenters and designers of interactive shows and exhibitions where you can share skills and experiences. Both are quite informal, and a good way to get a great insight in to the day-to-day interaction between lots of different institutions and people involved in science communication.
Finally there are a number of resources that give a good introduction to the world of science communication - detailing who some of the main organisations are, and what sort of things science communication involves:
- Science communication jargon busterThere are a lot of acronyms involved in public engagement, here's our list of the most common.
- Wikiversity provides links to a number of organisations involved in various different aspects of science communication.
- Who's who in public engagement? Have a look at our beginner's guide to the various institutions involved with public engagement in the UK.