Enhancing our communications with SEFARI Gateway

5 September, 2023
Two members of staff from SEFARI Gateway presenting at the front of the room, with BioSS staff looking on

We were delighted to receive training from SEFARI Gateway at our August BioSS General Meeting in Aberdeen. SEFARI Gateway’s Project Manager Michelle Wilson and Soils & Crops Knowledge Broker Kenneth Loades kindly shared their expertise of many years of successful science communication. They offered advice on how to disseminate our knowledge in a way that is useful and relevant to both us and our stakeholders, with a particular focus on policy-makers. Following their talk on how to cover varied formats ranging from policy briefs to the more informal blogs or news pieces, we had a fascinating discussion on how to navigate complexity and communicate uncertainty – pivotal to our work! 

We were immediately able to put their lessons into practice by attempting to describe our research to different audiences in a very limited time: you guessed it, the famous elevator pitch! This exercise proved to be a challenge which convinced us even further of the importance of effective Knowledge Exchange and impactful communication. 

For those of you who are not familiar with them, SEFARI Gateway are the Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Centre of Expertise for the Scottish Government’s Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Research Portfolio. They have an overall aim of enhancing access to and visibility of the work of the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutions, and they inform policy, practice, and the public.  

Among their other activities, we want to flag the upcoming 'Leading Ideas Hub 2 - Relational Approaches to Knowledge Exchange in Practice', which will be held at the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens, on the 3rd of October. Participants will benefit from excellent tips on impactful communication to non-scientific audiences and influencing policymakers, as well as from networking opportunities with RESAS key staff and SEFARI collaborators.  

BioSS Research Operations Manager Simona Foscarin-Kosmetatou (pictured below) attended the inaugural event last year and BioSS will participate again in the event this year. In parallel, our colleague Martin Knight is publishing a case study on the next edition of “SEFARI – Leading Ideas for Livestock” pamphlet: leveraging trading behaviour to assist livestock disease control in Scotland. 

Simona Foscarin-Kosmetatou sitting with others at a SEFARI event

For more information on SEFARI’s work we strongly recommend you read their article on Creating opportunities to improve engagement with different audiences, and for further advice, contact their fantastic team