The Benefit of BioVox – why science journalism matters

November 7, 2018 Article BioVox

This year, for the third time in a row, the BioVox team is looking forward to attending Wallonia’s largest life sciences event: BioWin Day. Proud to support this excellent initiative, BioVox will be attending the 2018 edition as official media partners. Our team finds conferences like this invaluable for both networking and keeping up to date with the blossoming Belgian biotech science ecosystem. But what role does science journalism, and our beloved news platform, play in this complex field? With input from our very own Ann Van Gysel, here is a brief summary of what sets BioVox apart from the others!

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Science communication is on the rise. Around the world, scientists have come to understand the importance of turning dry data into inspirational, digestible stories. Academic institutions and companies alike are investing more and more of their resources towards communication and marketing. This is not a frivolous trend: when you communicate effectively, research thrives. This rule holds true for both academia and industry: it is nigh-on-impossible to win a grant, seal a deal or market disruptive and new products if the other party does not know, understand or care about the work that you’re doing.

It is important to remember that communication is a two-way street. – Ann Van Gysel, Turnstone Communications
 

Dr. Ann Van Gysel, CEO and founder of Turnstone Communications (parent company of BioVox), feels that good quality science communication and content marketing is vital for this type of outreach. She has seen the impact of both good and bad science communication:

“At Turnstone, we believe that high-quality science outreach is a really important activity for universities and businesses alike. And not only to find clients, close a deal or win a grant. In a democratic nation, the public opinion on science topics has the ability to influence both politics and even regulatory bodies. We’ve seen poor communication work to the detriment of scientific endeavors many times, like with climate change and GM technology.

It is so important that science gets communicated both accurately, so people can make well informed decisions, and in an appealing format, so people don’t just fall prey to click-bait and fake news.”

Why BioVox?

BioVox is an independent online news platform for professionals in life sciences that covers life sciences in Belgium and beyond. Media outlets like BioVox serve a very important role in the scientific community, providing insight into new developments and trends in the field. Unlike other types of science communication, science journalism is not only a way to promote science and educate people about new discoveries; it also helps to build networks, allowing members of the life sciences community to read about new research, labs and companies that they might otherwise not have become aware of. It fosters connection. Ann explains how BioVox came to be:

“Turnstone Communications founded Biovox almost 4 years ago. Although Turnstone is a commercial entity, supporting biotech and pharma companies in their communication and marketing efforts, we try to keep BioVox independent and impartial. Because of this we are able to provide our readers with some of the best value content in the industry: sharing news of biotech innovations, connecting people from across the world and contributing to Belgium’s thriving life sciences ecosystem.”

It is so important that science gets communicated both accurately, so people can make well informed decisions, and in an appealing format, so people don’t just fall prey to click-bait and fake news. – Ann Van Gysel, Turnstone Communications
 

What sets BioVox apart from other news outlets? Van Gysel says that’s an easy answer: it’s the people. The BioVox team all originated in academia, with high level degrees from various fields in the life sciences. And a passion for good storytelling.

“An in-depth knowledge of the life sciences, coupled with a passion for good quality research: that is what makes our team special,” says Van Gysel, “It is what allows us to go deeper with our stories than other media outlets. We try to not only report on news and events, but to also evaluate and delve deeper, writing readable articles that provide valuable insights to our readers.”

BioVox in a nutshell:

  • Ranked in the top-10 best-read biotech newsletters in the world.
  • Monthly newsletter with 18.5K+ subscribers and a global reach (29% Belgians, 26% from North America, 24% EU and 21% ROW)
  • Readers are 36% academic, 51% industry (31% C-level 27% Management and 43% researchers)
  • Website visitors: 3.000 – 5.000 per month

Above and beyond

One of the issues people often have with science journalists is their tendency to exaggerate the importance of a study. This, along with the misinterpretation facts or even plain oversimplification of scientific concepts, makes a lot of scientists wary when dealing with journalists. Ann explains how BioVox avoids these common pitfalls:

“At BioVox, the scientist always has the final say over whether the article is fit for publication. Although we will write and edit the content ourselves, we are aware that our writers and editors often aren’t experts on the topics they’re working on. Therefore, we will always send a final draft of the article through to the scientist whose work we based the story on, to make sure we got all the facts right.”

An in-depth knowledge of the life sciences, coupled with a passion for good quality research: that is what makes our team special. – Ann Van Gysel, Turnstone Communications
 

The term ‘Science Communication’ has come to represent an extraordinarily large range of communication activities. From social media to infographics, from blogs to articles and events, science communication has evolved to take on a wide multitude of forms. In an online age, where fake news and sensational stories abound, the ability to provide an audience with good quality scientific information, while also making them care about the story, is vital. Van Gysel leaves us with this morsel of wisdom:

“It is important to remember that communication is a two-way street. It is often not enough to just do the research: people also have to be made aware of your discovery, understand the breakthrough and accept its importance, for the value of your science to be fully realized.”

BioVox publishes weekly life sciences articles, news and events on their website and also send out a monthly newsletter. Sign up for our free newsletter or get in touch via news@biovox.be to share your latest discovery!


BioVox
BioVox

With a local focus and global reach, BioVox shares insights into the Belgian life sciences ecosystem with an ever-growing global community. BioVox is a non-profit project: we are able to provide our community with free, quality content because of the generous support of Turnstone Communications and its clients. Our articles bring you hidden opportunities and exclusive insights into the latest research and industry trends!

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