Town hall event: EGU2014



What: Town hall discussion event with Sam Illingworth, Liz Kalaugher, Christina Reed and David Schultz

Where: EGU2014, Vienna, Room R13

When: Thursday, May 1st, 7-8:00 pm

As scientists, we are professional communicators, with a large and often very varied audience. In an increasingly fragmented scientific world, knowing our audience is key to success. We want our publications to be read, understood and cited. We want our grant applications to be funded. We want our outreach to successful. Each endeavour has a different audience and each audience has different demands. But how can we know our audiences? And how can answering this question help us communicate? Our experienced panel -comprised of experienced scientists and science communicators- will discuss how we can learn to better understand our audiences, and the benefits that this can bring. The panellists will draw on their own expertise and experiences during the discussion.

The panel will consist of the following experts (in alphabetical order):


Sam Illingworth is a lecturer in science communication at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). He completed his PhD in atmospheric physics in 2010 at the University of Leicester. He then spent 2 years in Japan as a Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation scholar, where he investigated how theatrical technique can be used to develop effective science communication skills. He returned to the UK in 2012, and spent 18 months at the University of Manchester, where as well as measuring methane and other greenhouse gases from airborne platforms, he spent a large amount of time developing outreach activities throughout the Greater Manchester area, before taking up his current post at MMU.


Liz Kalaugher is editor of environmentalresearchweb, a site that keeps scientists, policymakers and the public up to the minute with the latest news and views on environmental research from around the globe. The site’s coverage is in depth and wide-ranging, from climate change to biodiversity, from renewable energy to pollution, from economics to environmental legislation, and from health issues to sustainability. environmentalresearchweb is a member of the Guardian Environment Network of the world’s best environment sites. Last year, Liz received a Science Journalism Fellowship from the EGU, and reported on research into the effects of climate change on vegetation in the far north of Finland carried out by Miska Luoto from the University of Helsinki and his team. Liz has more than thirteen years’ experience as a science writer and holds a degree in materials science from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in materials science and Certificate in Wildlife Biology, both from the University of Bristol, UK.


Christina Reed is an independent science journalist and has worked with such publications as Scientific American, New Scientist, Science, and Nature. For three years she worked as the Earth producer for Discovery News and is currently the European stringer for ClimateWire, reporting on the policy and science news of climate change.Reed is the author of two books on 20th-century Earth and marine science history, which can be found on In the summer of 2003, Reed worked as the science coordinator for Aliens of the Deep. As part of her job, she ventured 1,000 meters underwater to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean with Director James Cameron using the Russian Mir 1 submersible. For the movie, she helped document extreme life at hydrothermal vents. Reed’s other at-sea expeditions include working as the daily science reporter for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s month-long Dive and Discover Cruise around the Galápagos Islands on the Scripps R/V Roger Revelle. Her graduate work at Columbia University also took her out to sea for a month in the North Atlantic on the WHOI R/V Knorr. She was also a contestant in The Learning Channel’s “Escape from Experiment Island” reality television show, which filmed on the island of Rum in Scotland. She is currently living in Paris, France, where she spent two years working as a communications consultant for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission at the United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization.


David Schultz, Professor of Synoptic Meteorology, University of Manchester, (@EloquentScience). He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, got his BSc from MIT, MSc from University of Washington, and PhD from University at Albany, State University of New York. Previously, he worked for the NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory and the University of Oklahoma and the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. He won the American Meteorological Society Editor’s Award for Monthly Weather Review in 2001, where he serves as the Chief Editor since 2008. He has published over 110 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on synoptic and mesoscale meteorology, forecasting, scientific publishing, and education. He is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and winner of the student-led Manchester Teaching Awards (2012). David began teaching communication skills at the Oklahoma Weather Center Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. At a conference one year, frustrated by the low quality of presentations by experienced scientists, he realized that the lessons he was teaching undergrads needed to be more widely heard, so he wrote Eloquent Science: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Better Writer, Speaker, and Atmospheric Scientist. He blogs at

This event is organized together with Resclim and Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College, London. Financial support is provided by Resclim, Grantham Institute and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.

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