Research the Headlines

Blog Overview

The Research the Headlines blog focuses on how research is discussed in the media. The Research the Headlines group are all current or alumni members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland (YAS). Members are experts in a wide range of disciplines including genetics, psychology, astronomy, history and engineering. Blog posts take recent media coverage of research as a starting point, allowing readers to reach a better understanding of what was really done, and what it might mean for them, from an expert but independent position. Posts are written in a style that is accessible to the general public. The group have now published 254 posts with 147k views of posts. The success of the blog is evident from the following: • The NHS now name and link to the RtH website as ‘Editor’s pick of the blogs’ on each of their own health blog posts. • Following the publishing of a blog post on the portrayal of mental health in television programmes in December 2015, Eastenders who have 2.31 million followers on Twitter, chose to follow the blog on Twitter and indicated that they liked this particular post on the topic of mental health. • Our blog posts are regularly shared by charities and other organisations in an educational role. For example, the group’s blog posts on the media portrayal of psychological research on developmental disorders such as ADHD have been re-blogged and shared by charities (e.g. national UK ADDISS ADHD charity). • The blog’s ‘Talking Headlines’ series has engaged numerous high profile individuals involved in science communication. Contributors to this series on the blog website include Dorothy Bishop, Jim Coyne, Suzi Gage, Kevin Mitchell, Anne Glover and Mo Costandi. • The group ran a highly successful competition ‘Rewrite the Headlines’ with schools in 2015/16 based on the blog material. Teachers are now regularly using our ‘top tips’ series on the blog to teach children about science communication, literacy, and understanding the media.

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Sinead Rhodes

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Why Vote For Me?

Traditional print and online media represent vital sources of new information shaping decisions about lifestyle, education and health. New findings from research studies often form the basis of these media reports. But how confident are people in assessing the latest headline? Accessing the original research papers might be difficult, or costly, or made inaccessible by academic jargon. The work of the Research the Headlines team has facilitated the general public to develop the skills needed to assess research evidence in the media. Our blog is a leading example of how to engage the public about research in a creative way. The Research the Headlines blog not only targets the public in general but also has specific activities designed to engage children and young people directly including the highly successful Rewrite the Headlines blog competition we carried out with schools in 2015/16. Our respected and inspiring work with an increasing reach would be further encouraged by receiving this award.