Scientific communication

Champion sponsor of the Annual Meeting

Reported by Olivia McKenna


  • Lisa DeTora, Associate Professor of Writing Studies and Rhetoric and Director, STEM Writing, Hofstra University

Lisa DeTora delivered a very interesting presentation on how to improve scientific communication in an open world by leveraging Aristotle’s rhetorical concepts of practical wisdom (phonese), applied knowledge (techne), and practical application (praxis).

While traditional medical publications largely target audiences in whom scientific literacy is a given, the dawn of open science has challenged this perception, and publications professionals continually face new genres, subject matter, and audiences.

Core guidance documents highlight the effectiveness of using rhetoric to facilitate effective communication.

A great example is the Good Publication Practice (GPP) guidelines, where practical wisdom (as for GPP1 and GPP3) and applied knowledge (GPP2) are used to increase transparency in industry-sponsored publication planning and development.

Further, Lisa suggested that developing guidance documents for wider audiences could be highly effective in educating the reader on how to approach and digest various scientific publications, for example, a lay summary.

Hence, employing Aristolian principles can aid a wider dissemination of knowledge and understanding in this ever-evolving medical communications industry.

About the author

Name: Olivia McKenna
Job role: Associate Medical Writer, Oxford
Time at Oxford PharmaGenesis: 7 months
What am I most looking forward to at ISMPP? Learning more about the exciting ways to employ effective scientific communication and the future of open science