Science and the Media – bringing together scientists, journalists and society

Science and the Media – bringing together scientists, journalists and society

  • Lecturer(s) or Responsible(s): Marta Daniela Santos (Communication and Image Area of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon)
  • Department Responsible: Departamento de Biologia Animal, FCUL
  • Data: January 16th, 2023 to January 20th, 2023
  • Deadline for Applications: December 16th, 2022
  • Duration: 18 hours (contact hours)
  • Schedule: January 16-19 (Monday-Thursday): 9h00-12h30; January 20 (Friday): 9h00-13h00
  • Nº (min, max) Students: 10-20
  • Location: Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande 1749-016 Lisboa


Overview:  Science is increasingly more present in our everyday decisions, with a fundamental role in global problems. Scientists, as the main actors in the production of scientific knowledge, have the responsibility of having an active voice in communicating this knowledge – and that can be achieved for example by a conscious use of the communication tools at their disposal and a better articulation with journalists, among other means.

Objectives: This course aims at: 1) exploring how scientists can use social media as tools to enhance the communication of their research and the dialogue with society, and 2) discussing the differences that exist in the work of scientists and journalists in terms of the methods and deadlines they meet and exploring how scientists and journalists can better articulate to reach a common goal – contribute to a more informed society.

This course can have recognition of 3 ECTs for FCUL PhD students enrolling in it as part of their first doctoral year. The report is also advised for other students requesting creditation of the course in their institutions.

Minimal formation of students: Bachelor degree in any scientific area (however a Master degree is strongly advisable).

Directed to: PhD students, postdocs and professionals working on any scientific field. MSc students can also attend, if vacancies are available.

General Plan

Note: This course will be given remotely

Social media

How can social media be used in science communication, and how can researchers, if they wish so, use these tools to increase the visibility of their work and the exchange of ideas? We will explore how social networks allow us to increase the visibility of scientific research both among the scientific community – and if that is translated in an increased number of citations – and among different lay publics, using different approaches.

Scientists and Journalists

The work of scientists and journalists follows very different methods and deadlines, and there is sometimes some frustration among scientists about how their work is communicated on the media, with misunderstandings concerning deadlines, appropriate or sensationalist titles and the emphasis given (or not given) to the interpretation of scientific results. Comparing and understanding the differences in working methods and deadlines of journalists and scientists can help establish a better collaboration. How can scientists be available for dialogue with journalists – without overlapping with their work? What good practices can be adopted in the context of interview – both in TV and in written media?

Throughout these two major themes, we will explore techniques of written and oral (science) communication, in order to adapt the communication of scientific concepts to different audiences. The course will follow a theoretical-practical approach, with the practice of writing content for different social networks, interview simulation, among other exercises.



Students fees




Free for 1st year PhD students of FCUL enrolling in it as part of the curricular year or as part of the PhD Support programme; also free for 1st year PhD students in the Doctoral program Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (UP), Biology and Ecology of Global Changes (UA) and Sustainability Science (UL, several institutions), when the course counts credits for their formation; in all these cases the delivery of a final report done after the course is mandatory; the course is also free for more advanced PhD students of the BIODIV programme (ULisboa or UPorto); 15 € for other PhD students from cE3c, 40 € for PhD students from institutions of the PEERS network (CFE); 60 € for FCUL Master students, more advanced PhD FCUL students and unemployed; 80 € for BTI, BI and other PhD students; 115 € for Professional and postdocs.

When the maximum number of students is reached, 10 vacancies will be available for non-paying 1st year PhD students mentioned above, being, by order of preference students from: 1) cE3c; 2) BIODIV (not from cE3c); 3) FCUL (not from cE3c); 4) Sustainability Science (not from cE3c or FCUL); 5) BEAG (not from cE3c or FCUL).


How to apply

To apply send an e-mail to Marta Daniela Santos ( with a CV and a motivation letter. The cv and letter should be named as 1st-lastNAME-CV.pdf and 1st-lastNAME-ML.pdf (that is personalize the name of each file with your first and last name).

In the email please add the following information:

Full Name:



Professional activity: Professional/Postdoc, BTI, BI (or other non-post-doc research grant), PhD student (with/ without scholarship), Lic. (Bachelor)/Master student

PhD student of the 1st year of a Doctoral programme at FCUL, BIODIV (FCUL/FCUP), or BEAG (FCUL or UA)?

If yes to the above question, PhD student doing the Course to count credits for 1st year?:

PhD student of cE3c or CEF (Centro de Ecologia Funcional)?:

Name of the PhD programme: