The educational and networking project - Communication Laboratory was launched by RVC, to bridge the information gap between the Russian scientific community and the media, help them communicate with each other efficiently, and, finally, to bring in a new class of experts - scientific communicators - in Russia. In 2014, the project brought together more than 500 participants from all over Russia. 25 training and discussion events for researchers and journalists were held, and 12 media tours to research organizations, a collection of practices was released as a "Scientific PR Formula", an inaugural prize was awarded for industry spokespersons and scientific organizations, and an experimental service was started for scientific news exchange - Open Science.
The primary task was the invitation of scientists, journalists and PR-specialists to the special forum, where the participants have the ability to directly communicate, discuss problems and work out joint solutions which will help to overcome communications obstacles and enhance the image of Russian science. On July 10, the first open project workshop, Laboratory work No.1, took place on the territory of DI Telegraph. 8 plenary presentations, discussion about who manages the initiative of science popularization and 8, consequent, master-classes, related to applied communication skills were held within the event: from "mistakes of the university communication strategy" and science story-telling to instructions on how to do a movie of your discovery.
The next step of the organizers of the Communication Laboratory is to try to calculate scientific communicators in Russia. For this purpose, RVC and SPN Communication conducted a research involving RIA Novosti (MIA "Russia Today") and the National Research University - Higher School of Economics.
On September 10, Laboratory Work No. 2 was held in the building of the RAS presidium, as a part of the Moscow Science Week, which purpose was networking. Project supervisors and participants from the mass media included employees of the science editor offices of Lenta.ru, Gazeta.ru, MIA Russia Today, Around the World, Elements.ru, In the World of Science, Expert and reporters of Russia 1, ITAR-TASS and the Russian News Service. Representatives of more than 10 research and development institutes and scientific organizations tried to engage the journalists' interest by telling their story; it resulted in a set of press-tours and publications in the mass media.
The most active journalists in September-November went with experimental press-visits to the research and development institutes of Moscow and Moscow Region, to see, in person, and then to tell the public how Russian science lives and works. The results included material broadcast on the federal mass media, for example: reports on how magnets can help to cure diseases of the nervous system; about anti-vandal coverage went on air, on Russia 1 in the broadcast Russian Morning. On the Russian News Service radio, in the Early Morning broadcast, Evgeniya Timonova (author of the video blog "Everything like animals"), told of how much people are similar to animals. "Evening Moscow" radio station broadcast an interview with the senior research assistant of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Science, Konstantin Mineev about the development of new medicines.
To enhance professional identity, a new special "Communication Laboratory" nomination was established as a part of IV All-Russia Innovation Journalism Competition Tech in Media.
The final chord of the Communication Laboratory project was the publication of Formula of Scientific PR - collection of cases and advice from the specialists engaged in communication in the sphere of science and education. Authors include more than 20 experts currently promoting science in Russia.
On November 20, an experimental online project Open Science based on the Theory and Practices portal was launched..
This is an instrument for information exchange and the collaboration of research and development organizations, mass media and ordinary readers. With its help, scientists, public relations services of universities and RDI can conveniently and quickly share news of their research and discoveries without the need to search for appropriate journalists, and journalists can get up-to-date materials and comments from the authors in real time.
In 2015, the project started with the opening of the workshop at the Summer School of the Russian Reporter. Newcomer science promoters got to know who the science communicators are, what the secret of efficient PR, in this area, is and how the press-service of the scientific or educational organizations should behave in different situations. Professional PR managers and specialists of the press-services of scientific organizations told about development and realization of the communication strategy, creative PR and of non-media communication channels while science journalists explained what the secret of interesting texts of scientific researches is, and how to write a popular science book. The following scientists appeared before the participants: Professor of the faculty of bio-engineering and bio-information of MSU, Mikhail Gelfand told listeners about the polemic methods in scientific communications citing the example of GMO, and Valeriy Roisen (MIPT), gave a popular science lecture on the mysterious world of medicine design.
Project plans for this year include the next research stage, events for science communicators and journalists in Moscow and regions, a new, interesting format "Laboratory of Cases" that joins educational and scientific organizations, brand and communication agencies, and students of the public relations faculties.