How we created a highly-demanded communication course for scientists


EU Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Sector: government

Related services

Group Processes, Visual Storytelling, Training

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The Challenge

We live in a post-truth world. It’s a world where policy makers often doubt scientific evidence. A world where everybody can have their own truth. How can science bring an added value for policy making in this context? How do we train scientists to create a political impact with their research?


This was the ground to design a 2-day active learning course for scientists. Our interactive course brought a new perspective to learning for many scientists. Based on a pilot training created by the Rathenau institute, we co-created this communication course for scientists with Francois Busquet and the DG JRC.

The Approach

We started from the fact that policymakers and scientists live in different realities.  Scientists live in a world of facts, research, finding truth, understanding reality & uncertainty. Policymakers inhabit a world of justification, values, pressure groups & compromise. The training course helped them to build a bridge between the world of policy making and world research.


On the first day, we focused on attitudes and knowledge. So we created a simulation game. Through this game, the participating scientists experienced the reality of policymakers. It helped them grasp their role in supporting policy makers. We also interweaved knowledge that came from the group with targeted and up-to-date scientific insights.


The second day concentrated on successful communication strategies to share research outcomes. We did this by use of a case study. First, we focused on understanding our target group. Second, on how to create great key messages without oversimplifying the complex reality. Further, they learned how to use visuals as a vehicle to bring their message in an approachable way.


The learning material included a fit-for-purpose learning booklet and an accompanying slide deck. The latter also gives a good example of how to create top-notch slides.

The Result

Over the last 4 years we trained over 600 scientists from the JRC. On top of that, the course has one of the highest satisfaction scores in the whole European Commission year after year. Many national governments and research organizations want to provide the course to their scientists.

"This communication training for scientists has one of the highest satisfaction scores in the whole European Commission year after year."

We love our clients' feedback

“I learned that learning can also be fun”

Augmented Reality (AR)

What is it?

Augmented Reality is adding a digital layer on top of a printed document (graphic recording, infographic, manual…). Using your phone or your tablet you will be able to see or hear extra information like images, videos and webpages. You just need a portable machine with a camera and an internet connection.



It’s nothing new. AR applications have been around for decades. Despite all of the promise, it is only now since the rise of powerful smartphone technology that AR is ready to unleash its potential.

When to use it?

You might have noticed that the reality around is multi-layered and dynamic. Yet, most of the time we are trapped in static, single-layer, two-dimensional pages. Hence, Augmented Realiy works best on printed materials like posters, infographics, graphic recording and manualsSo, when does it makes sense to add AR to our design work:

  • You don’t have enough space to add all the information ;
  • You want extra information that is not relevant for everybody;
  • You want pictures, video, sound or webpage on a static page
  • You want to add interactivity
  • You need to update the information regularly 

Hassle free!

We are convinced that Augmented Reality only contributes to a project if it is user-friendly. So, if at all possible we work with tools that:

  • Require No APP
  • Works on all phones
  • Instant appearance of the visuals

Already convinced?