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Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp

Communicating your research can feel like a new discovery. Many of the researchers we meet have found that their passion to engage and to discuss their subject matter has emerged as a mainly solo pursuit, perhaps inspired by a passionate colleague, favourite television programme or an exhibition visit that occurred by chance along the way. This can leave many researchers unaware that the communication of research to others and their engagement with it has been a long-standing issue within research professions. The history of communicating research is

in Creative research communication
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Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp

information which connect with our emotions and feelings.’ Jilli had picked up on Nicholas’s passion to prevent extinctions and his excitement in the discovery of a species thought to be extinct. Having Nicholas narrate the film allows him to convey these feelings directly to the viewer. Jilli also wove his ideas into the animations, for example, using the imagery of the extinct Tasmanian tiger as a guide and metaphor for the problems of extinction within the film. The Tasmanian tiger happens to be a particular interest of Nicholas’s and he was delighted to see the

in Creative research communication
Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp

can be challenging to come up with something that is entirely original, and there is certainly nothing wrong with using communication approaches that have been shown to work in the past. However, research itself is a creative act in the sense that it involves generating and exploring ideas. Most researchers, at times, enter what Csikszentmihalyi ( 1996 ) calls ‘flow’: a state of pleasure and passion associated with complete focus on a task; a sense of clarity that everything is clicking into place. He argues that we should seek ‘flow’ in more aspects of

in Creative research communication
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Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp

communicate through a quote in a newspaper article, but you won’t see your readers become excited or glaze over as they read it. In face-to-face communication your participants are highly visible – if a metaphor doesn’t work or, conversely, if people are really enthusiastic, you can respond accordingly. Finally, there are many opportunities for face-to-face communication and, related to that, resources which can be drawn on to support it. If we take museums alone, it is estimated that there are over 55,000 in over 200 countries (ICOM, 2014 ). If you have a passion

in Creative research communication
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

kinds of ways) that demonstrate that some kind of interpersonal bond exists between the two people involved … Second, there is emotional intimacy, itself a complex and compound dimension. Thus it can include the sharing of deep feelings, anxieties, doubts and passions. But it can also include the recognition of the emotional needs or likely emotional responses of others, perhaps even at a non verbal level … Third, there is intimate knowledge. Intimates have particular knowledge of each other, knowledge which is conventionally denied to others outside this core of

in The craft of writing in sociology
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Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp

parties, are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it.’ The personal writing style of most blogs means that the author’s presence can often be easily seen (making them high on social presence) and this in turn can make research seem more human and less abstract, although authors may wish to consider how much of their personality they disclose. Blogs may be seen as a route to communicate with a broad, public audience, and even as opportunities to enter into debates about emerging scientific and social issues (see

in Creative research communication