The creation and sharing of scientific knowledge is a key means to accelerate technological progression within mankind. There are a variety of ways that scientists communicate their results of scientific research and these include scientific journal publications, conference presentations and conference posters.
The scientific publication is a written document that is submitted to a formal journal. Scientific publications communicate the key findings of a study in a text format but can also include illustrations and graphs. A key part of the publication process is a peer-review that involves other scientists within the field commenting on the quality of scientific data acquired along with a critique of the methods used and conclusions drawn. Only articles that have supportive comments from other scientists will be published in journals.
Conference Oral Presentation
Scientists within specialist fields meet at conferences to present and discuss results that have been obtained in a given period. The most respected format for scientific dissemination at conferences is the oral presentation. Typically each session within a conference will have several slots for scientists to present their results. This normally translates to an oral presentation, with preset time length that varies from conference to conference. After the oral presentation, time is normally allocated for questions.
Conference Poster Presentation
An alternative means to present scientific results at a conference is with a poster. Typically, each poster session will have many posters displayed at once within a hall. Poster presentations last hours rather than minutes and involve the presenter standing by her poster for around two hours. During this time, other scientists will review the content of the poster and may ask the presenter questions.
Public Lectures and Education
In addition to these three ways and others in which scientists communicate to one another, it is becoming increasingly important for scientists to publicize their work to communities outside of science. This can occur in the form of public lectures, whereby scientists will present their work in a simplified format allowing students and members of the general public to understand. This lectures are not usually communicating the results of a specific scientific study but are giving a general overview of the topic areas.
- Nature: Unit 2: Writing Scientific Papers
- University of Victoria: What is a Peer-reviewed Article?
- American Society of Primatologists: Giving a Good Scientific Presentation
- Ohio State University: Dazzle 'em With Style: The Art of Oral Scientific Presentation
- University College London: Science for the Public
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