Research is inherently complex. Explaining it doesn't have to be.
My name is Ben McCluskey and I'm a freelance science writer, editor and consultant based in Bristol, UK. We all know that great science needs to be shouted about and I believe that science communication can help to improve humankind. However, in order to do so it needs to think big. The growth of science communication has helped bring clarity to complexity, but there is still one elephant in the room: explaining is not the same as persuading.
What makes people respond to a message or change their behaviour? I'm interested in reader response and how text, images and video, among other storytelling approaches, can not only teach, but persuade. If you're confident in the excellence of your research, but the right people aren't paying attention, I want to work with you.
If you want to take advantage of my knowledge, experience and network of creatives, get in touch now using the simple form below. One email and you can get back to doing what you're best at: research.
My specialisms include:
Writing for web
Narrative video scripts
Social media management and consultancy
Infographic concepts and copy
In addition, I work with a large network of other creatives and can manage production of the following:
Wood has seen a slow-paced renaissance since the early 1990s, but now ambitious proposals for timber (CLT) structures seem to appear every few weeks. Technologist assesses how close these architectural dreams are to becoming reality. Imagine the city of the future. What’s it built of – steel, glass, perhaps graphene? Actually, the answer may be[…]
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is flourishing, but will it help or hinder health professionals in keeping us fit and well? The jogger who ran past you this morning was more than likely being followed. Not by some nefarious menace, but rather a digital device, which might just be motivating the wearer to beat[…]
Dublin’s “Silicon Docks” may be known as a welcome destination for U.S. tech giants, but the Emerald Isle has plenty of native innovation to shout about. From James Joyce’s depictions of Dublin life to the archetypal “old boy” telling anecdotes over a pint of stout, storytelling is embedded in Irish culture. In fact, the country’s[…]
It can be difficult to effect behavioural change in large cities, but Stockholm and London have shown that a well-conceived nudge will deliver results. Stockholm’s congestion charge was first trialled on 3 January 2006, but with hindsight Halloween would have been more apt. As in an act of sorcery, the queues of motorists typically found[…]
Some school lessons are more effective than others. Slip some questions on photosynthesis or the parts of a flower into a pub quiz, and plenty of people would pick up points from the things they learnt in biology class. Ask a general knowledge question about soil or the root systems of plants, by contrast, and[…]
Deep space communication poses a range of significant challenges. To overcome them, NASA is taking more flexible approaches to problem solving than ever before. We look at how their collaboration with TopCoder is evolving the uses of crowd-sourced code, and consider what lies ahead. Email is so ubiquitous and fast that we may be inclined[…]
In light of entertaining ant-related findings publicised recently, Ben McCluskey argues that studies on bizarre animal behaviour can provide researchers with opportunities for outreach that go beyond the norm. Among this month’s many research headlines, one story that stood out concerned Paratrechina longicornis. Why? Well, first off there’s the brilliance of their common name: longhorn crazy[…]
The Times Higher Education’s ‘100 under 50’ university rankings were published on Wednesday 29 April. Digital Editor Ben McCluskey discusses the list’s significance within the context of a rapidly changing global research landscape. Australia has 16 ranking institutes in the THE’s list of 100 universities under 50 years old, Asian universities dominate the top five[…]
The research funding landscape looks bleak in many areas at present, but that’s all the more reason to focus on success stories, argues Ben McCluskey. Universities are doing great work to bring jobs and money into the regions they serve, but they should be supported by a framework based on national cooperation, not competition. In[…]
Below is the script I wrote for this short animated presentation on MaRINET, an EC FP7 offshore renewable energy project. I also conceptualised the visual narrative before the design team storyboarded and animated: “Secure energy is an essential building block for social development. But sustainable development needs sustainable energy sources. Developing exciting renewable energy technologies[…]