Imperial collaborates with four leading universities in Poland to improve scientific communication in both countries.

The goal is to build better bridges between scientists, the public and policymakers to help shape policies and societal attitudes in areas such as climate change and pandemics.

The collaboration started this week with a hypothetical event attended by leaders and scientists from Imperial and its partners – Adam Mickiewicz University, Jagiellonian University, Gdansk Medical University and Warsaw University of Technology.

This is how we always think of scientific communication in Imperial: it is about sharing, especially about sharing ideas and experiences. Dr. Stephen Webster is Director of the Department of Scientific Communication

Imperial has current links with these institutions and others in Poland – for example, it has published more than 1,000 joint publications over the past five years with colleagues from Poland and collaborated on more than 80 European-funded projects (Horizon 2020 and FP7).

One of the first collaborative initiatives will be a series of podcasts on various topics in scientific communication, including scientific uncertainty. A website will be established to assist colleagues looking for new ideas in the field of scientific communication, in both the United Kingdom and Poland. Partner organizations will also develop science communication workshops, where Polish and Imperial colleagues will jointly develop their skills.

Community strengthening through communication

The collaboration takes place at Imperial by Dr. Stephen Webster Who is the college director Department of Scientific Communication. The event opened with an examination of the role of scientific communication in today’s world and noted that the word “comunicare” – the Latin root of the word “communication” – means participation.

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“This is how we always think of scientific communication in Imperial: It is about sharing, especially about sharing ideas and experiences. Since the beginning of this collaboration, the main idea has been that the university can really be a center of scientific communication.”

Dean of the Empire, Professor Ian Walmsley Then he formally started the cooperation and signed a letter of intent. In his speech to the public, he stressed that communication is a key tool in universities’ overall mission to benefit society through discovery and innovation.

“It’s not just about finding something with the hope that people will find it useful,” he said. “Instead, it is about engaging with the community to help a wide range of people understand what we are doing and hear what is actually being asked of them. This dialogue is very important, and in this sense, scientific communication has never been as important today.

“It is also important that it is not one voice, but it is diverse and reflects different views from all over the world. That is why this cooperation is so important to us, especially as we strive to maintain and strengthen our relations with Europe.”

Polish perspective

Does Professor Bogumi also occur in hypothetical event? Kaniewska, dean of AMU, who emphasized that scientific communication requires a “variety of skills and teamwork”. As she emphasized, university employees from the Faculties of Sciences, Social and Humanities participate in collaborations – also integrating supplementary and postgraduate education.

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Professor Marcin Grosha? A., Dean of Gdask Medical University, explained how the global Covid-19 pandemic revealed the importance of communication, especially in the context of the evolutionary nature of science and the importance of vaccination for common security. He said that there is room to improve this communication, adding that “universities are not islands, they should be part of society.”

Growth potential

Dr. Webster thanked the guests at the end of the ceremony and discussed future collaboration. He pointed out that after Britain left the European Union, Imperial wants to strengthen its relations with Europe, and spreading science is a natural way to bring scientists together.

Like Imperial, Polish universities are now deeply involved in their societies. By working with the founders, the collaboration has real potential in terms of employee training programs, student and project exchanges, and even summer schools. Dr. concluded. Webster says, “Like the best universities, science communication is about taking the imagination and making it come true.”

Main photo: Krzysztof Duda – Fotoportal UAM, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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