Scholars Go Public: Speakers series will help researchers engage with media

7 June 2016

By Genevieve Creighton

Engaging with media can be a vital way to get your research noticed.

Health researchers are increasingly sharing their work in innovative ways – social media, op-eds, and documentary film, to name a few – with the goal of inserting evidence into policy agendas and conversations.

While getting media exposure for health research is important, there are other issues to consider: How will you represent your participants? How will you pitch your work? What are the potential unintended consequences of your research on the media representation of vulnerable groups?

A summer speakers series, Scholars Go Public, will bring together journalists and researchers to discuss critical approaches on knowledge translation in the media.

All are welcome! The speakers series will be held during the week of July 4 to 8 in the Irving Barber Learning Center (Room 155) at the University of British Columbia. Refreshments will be served. 

July 4

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Journalist, Roundhouse Radio host, and academic Minelle Mahtani, professor and author Rob Whitley, and psychologist and professor Anurandha Sovani will tackle the issue of mainstream media reporting on mental illness. Why do race, gender, culture, and poverty have bearing on mental health reporting and how can health researchers frame their own work to challenge rather than reproduce stigma?

July 5

9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Paul Gross and Lyana Patrick who head up the Research to Action project “The DUDES Club” will show a powerful documentary film they created based on this project with indigenous men in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This film focuses on the way that the DUDES Club connects men with health care professionals and other support services and instills a sense of solidarity and empowerment within the community.

July 6

(pre-registration required for this event)

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Krystle van Hoof, assistant director of the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health, will lead a workshop for researchers on talking to journalists and engaging on social media. Participants will have hands-on experience practicing a research pitch, speaking on camera, and using social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to promote their work.

July 7

9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Radio host and UBC School of Journalism instructor Kathryn Gretsinger and physician and researcher David Kuhl talk about the competing ethical frameworks in academia and journalism. What should researchers be aware of when they are being interviewed by journalists? How can researchers and journalists collaborate in accurate, empowering, and effective reporting on health?

July 8

9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

High school student Maymoona Gaid along with professor Emily Jenkins and PhD candidate Carla Hilario talk integrated knowledge translation (iKT) with youth. Drawing from three separate participatory projects, they will discuss their experiences doing health research with young people and the diverse and innovative ways they chose to disseminate findings.

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Elizabeth Saewyc, professor in the UBC School of Nursing, discusses youth health reporting in the media. It seems that when the health of young people is discussed, they are framed as alternately “troubled” or “troublesome” with little attention paid to the nuance of daily life. Using her research experience with different groups of vulnerable adolescents, including runaway and street-involved youth, sexually abused and sexually exploited teens, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender adolescents, youth in custody, immigrants, home-stay students, and refugees, and indigenous youth, Saewyc will discuss strategies for talking to media.

For more information about this speakers series, contact:

Genevieve Creighton
Manager, Knowledge Translation