Hannah Ladd-Jones is Engagement Officer at the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS), based at the Scottish Oceans Institute in University of St Andrews.
Communication is at the heart of her dynamic and varied role.
I try to make Scottish marine science more accessible to other researchers, to marine stakeholders, and beyond.
It has never been more important for society to be aware of the issues facing our oceans, and to do this we need to start a dialogue between academics at different institutions, policy makers, industry, conservation charities, and members of the public.
Hannah organises a large number of multi-stakeholder online events and webinars for the marine science community.
She also established ‘MASTS Casts’, a series of weekly short films that showcased the breadth of marine-science research, such as:
- a PhD student having their first paper published
- a collective of academics discussing a successfully funded project.
Hannah not only provides information and practical assistance to speakers at these events, but also advises on how to engage their audience.
Researchers often have a misconception that when they’re talking to a less academic audience they have to ‘dumb down’ the science.
Instead, it’s about making the research accessible and communicating in a way that’s relatable.
Not all academics have that skill, which is why roles like mine are so important.
Hannah studied biology as an undergraduate and conservation for her Master’s and although she loved being part of an academic community, she knew she didn’t want to do a PhD or take on an administration role.
I wasn’t aware of jobs like mine when I was studying, but it is perfect for me.
I don’t want to be a researcher but I love learning and talking about new research.
It’s not enough to publish in academic journals; for real change to happen it’s vital we open up the discourse so we can learn from each other.
It can only improve the science.
Last updated: 10 June 2021