Effective Science Communication
Today, communication is a common element of everyday life of millions of people. It is impossible to live without communication. One of the most significant elements of it is science communication. According to Boon (2014), “At its most basic, science communication is defined as sharing science-related topics with non-experts.” Information presented at the donation event should be easy for listening and understandable. According to Pikas (2009), “Informal scholarly communication is anything that does not fit into the definition of formal scholarly communication above; that is, it can take place anytime, anywhere, in any format.” The key idea of science is to bring effective communication allowing arousing arguments and critique regarding different points of view. In regard to charity and donation events, there are several challenges in the process of communication. According to Gostomski et al. (2012), “Key challenges for many networks would be the development of integrated information products, and the ability to translate the large amount of complex, scientific data to decision makers, policy makers, and the general public.” J. Paul Robinson, a professor from Purdue University, gives some suggestions for avoiding communication barriers in donation events. First, the author states that it is necessary to define the target audience and have a clear understanding of the area. Another effective communication tool is to “use great care in word usage to match the knowledge level and experience of audience’ (Robinson, 2009). The author also suggests using appropriate supporting material to make the information understandable enough for the audience. Ben Longstaff, another expert in the field of communication, offers to use appropriate colors in supporting material in order to make the information appealing psychologically. According to Longstaff (2008), “Improper use of color can alienate audience.” All these criteria mean that it is required to be accurate in providing audience with information about event.
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In general, the donation event had a great impact on the audience. It is required to hold charity and donation events to encourage people to take part in the development of the society. It is a fact that donations require engagement of many people willing to improve society. The event held by a small student group has little impact on people. However, it must be significant enough to encourage the involved people to take action. Undoubtedly, if the event had included more people, it would have had more financial resources and its scope would have been greater. Moreover, an effective method of improvement is to introduce a variety of simple donations, which could be made by anyone. At the same time, these donations would make a change. In the future, it is possible to use more posters and colorful booklets to show the importance of the event. The main purpose is to reduce the number of people who stay indifferent to the issue and get them involved in donation.
The event called “Have a heart… Become an organ donor” was being held during two hours. The key message of the event is the following: become an organ donor. It consisted of two parts. The first hour of the event encouraged people to make any donation. After making a donation with at least a gold coin, people received a heart shape cookie and a chocolate bar. The second hour was used to attract people with free cookies. Then, they were asked to make a donation. It is an effective technique to encourage people to donate. The second part was a game. Participants had a picture of a human body and were asked to put all organs in the right position. Those who did everything right received prizes (backpack, hats or small bags). Contributions to the event included making 500 pieces of cookies, a flyer, a poster and music. All elements of the event appealed to people and encouraged them to get involved. Music could attract more people and it was necessary as other groups were also holding their events in the same location. Moreover, there were distinguishing features of team members like red clothes. It was also an effective element of the event making people interested. The event required to book location and required equipment (desk, chair). It was a testing measure to see whether people are ready to get involved in donation and charity. Financial results showed that people are willing to take action. Total number of raised money is $235.65. It will be donated to the charity as soon as students acquire bank details.
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In order to make people interested, there were used many facts from the website of Australian Government Organ and Tissue Authority. The website provides the reader with donation facts and statistics. One of the most remarkable facts is that one donor can change lives of ten or more people. It also informs that Australia is the world’s leader in successful transplant outcomes. The spreadsheet also attracts the reader’s attention to the fact that in 2013, there was a significantly increased number of donors. Moreover, there is a national reform program encouraging Australians to take action and participate in donation events. Another fact presented is that more than 75% of Australians have discussed their decision to become a donor and received approval from their families. Without family approval, it is impossible to become a donor. That is the reason it is important to discuss this issue with one’s family. In general, the spreadsheet encourages people to take action and not to stay indifferent to the problems of society. It emphasizes that anyone could get in the same situation. That is why it is important to show sympathy and respect. Donate Life facts are a credible source giving valuable information on donations’ status in Australia. This source has become a basis in preparing the flyer and poster of the event. Other valuable techniques were taken from the literature regarding effective science communication. These sources provided information on how to design supporting material in order to make it attractive to the audience. Finally, the event became effective due to the effective use of all necessary materials and sources of information.