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Willetts looks for the OMG factor in online science communication

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Thanks for visiting my blog. I am Chair of INVOLVE - the UK's national advisory group on public involvement - and NIHR National Director for Public Participation and Engagement in Research. I was CEO at the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) from 2006 until 2011. My full profile can be found on the 'Biography' page. The views on here are all personal ones unless otherwise stated. I hope you enjoy some of the things I write and/or find a useful link or two along the way.

The Science Minister, David Willetts, blogs in today’s Guardian about the challenges for science writing in a world increasingly dominated by online media .

He richly articulates the terms of an interesting debate and seems to convey genuine interest in the subject and a sincere wish to hear views.

We must give the Online Media Group for Science initiative the chance it deserves not least because those who are members have respected voices in this sphere.

But three things.

First, there is much out there already which is energising and captivating which could simply be trawler rather than submitted – online and social media entries to AMRC’s excellent science communication awards for instance.

Second, it is a shame that having identified key aspects of the debate we are asked to channel our efforts into one specific component – namely outputs. As Willetts says himself there is so much more to the questions in this area than how we push information out.

Third and last, while money is tight, it seems a shame that participation in such initiatives can not be incentivised in some way. For a few dollars more….

Simon Denegri
CEO, Ovarian Cancer Action

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