I am interested in exploring novel methods of research dissemination. In my years as a researcher, I have experienced how hard it is to find a way to communicate research results to the wider non-scientific community – the “real” world. Often researchers will upload videos where they discuss – or create animations – that highlight important findings. These videos tend to have a few shortcomings regarding dissemination to a non-academic audience.
First, videos of researchers describing their results are not efficient in gaining the attention of the real world; rather, they tend to exist solely (and potentially prosper) within the scientific/academic community. One reason for this is that the videos can be pedagogical, with use of specialised language and the persons within the video come from – or are appealing to – the academic community. These videos may not be appealing to the real world.
With my film ‘Behind the yellow line’ I hope to create interest in exploring “out of the box” ideas for research dissemination. Ultimately, to help improve the chances a researcher can get their ideas out to a non-academic audience.
It is my view that documentary shorts hold great potential as a manner to communicate results, for a few reasons:
- they can be character driven portrayals of real-world people;
- the shorts do not have to be pedagogical or use specialised language;
- the medium of film is flexible, the narrative arc and aesthetic can be tailored to a targeted demographic.
- there is potential to engage Instagram or Twitter “influencers” as a means of dissemination.