9.30 Coffee, breakfast & networking



10.00 Welcome – Rachel Burley, BMC


10.10 Dr Suze Kundu

Warm up


Science fiction is rapidly turning into science fact, and we have Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) to thank for a lot of this. In this talk, Dr Suze Kundu will talk about the real science that can bring some of our favourite superpowers to life, and will also look to the future of STEM to see what superpowers we can hope to harness in years to come!

10.30 What is the link between science communication and research impact?


We know that sometimes communicating your research with broader audiences can be scary. But never fear, our experts are here to help! This panel, comprising experiences from across the research environment, will explore some of the ways that researchers can effectively communicate their work. We will explore how engaging with a range of audiences can help researchers diversify their skills and enhance their digital identity, all part of being a better scientist! We will also look into how to strategically communicate your work in order to improve your career prospects, and even secure future research funding.

What's next: mentoring and careers - the power of mentoring


This session will look at the mentoring of PhD students and postdocs to support them in their chosen careers, in a way that realistically reflects that most early career researchers do not end up running an academic research lab (like their supervisors do).



11.15 Coffee


11.35 How the academic community can bridge the gender, minority, and LGBQT gaps in STEM


This panel will discuss practical moves the academic community can make to bridge the gender, minority, and LGBQT gaps in STEM.  With different viewpoints and groups we will discuss personal experiences and practical examples of how we can work together to create a plan of action to better support diverse groups.  We will open the end of the discussion to questions from the in-person and online audience.  Panelists will include representatives from academia, STEM Net, SoapBox Science, and EDIS.






Richer, more connected data.


With the growth in pre-print servers, dataset publishing and the sharing of supporting information,  more research outputs being released than ever before and with them, new research opportunities abound but with this boom in resources comes a growing risk of information overload and an expanding pile of administration. How do we harness the potential of all of these outputs to maximise the opportunities and minimise the effort?

By creating richer, connected, and reusable, open metadata for all research outputs we can enhance discovery and create opportunities for innovation and by bringing the research community together to establish a systematic way to create, manage and share this richer data, we can eliminate duplication of effort and make research outputs more accessible.

The panellists will explore the benefits of creating rich, more connected data, share stories of some of the challenges they have encountered and put forward ideas for how we can make this vision a reality.

12.20 ’The Rhetoric of Research’


Everyday, thousands of research papers are published around the world but very few get noticed. In a fast-paced and frequently funny talk, top speechwriter, Simon Lancaster, will introduce you to a treasure chest of rhetorical devices from metaphors to story-telling that you can use instantly to make your research findings instantly more captivating and compelling. You will never think about language the same way again.

12.50 Lunch




Andy Tatterstall,  University of Sheffield - Isn’t it time we had a research equivalent of the learning technologist?

Ben Bleasdale - Wellcome -Celebrating collaboration: Together Science Can

Grace Baynes, Springer Nature - Data communities and collaboration

Eva Amsen - What musicians can teach scientists  

Andrea Aguliar, Nature Research - Nature Masterclasses

14.15 Tech Slam


Altmetric Books 




Fostering best practice in research integrity


Robust standards of research integrity underpin the quality and reliability of research performance and publication. Yet continued pressure to publish creates perverse incentives for researchers, fuelling poor research practices. How can we create a culture that promotes integrity in research and its communication? All stakeholders have a role to play: researchers, institutions, editors, publishers, societies and funders. We will hear from the different perspectives of our panellists and discuss the initiatives that encourage best practice.

15.00 Needles in a haystack: finding the information that matters, when it matters


With over 14,000 new articles published every day, it’s not possible to read everything. This makes the ability to find the relevant research and information a key issue for researchers. This session discusses some of the challenges in information discovery, as well as some innovative solutions, focusing on both the advantages offered by these approaches as well as their limitations.


Who’s afraid of statistics?


In this friendly, lively and interactive workshop we will explore the philosophies underpinning hierarchies of evidence in scientific research. Why does the scientific community hold quantitative data in such high regard? Are there other compelling ways to tell your scientific story? Attendees will learn a potted history of the p-value, why it is that all the cool kids are Bayesian these days, and how and when to get a scientific paper through the publication process without resource to statistical inference at all.

15.45 Wrap up


16.00 Cupcakes, prosecco & network!


Live stream

Cant make the conference in person? register your interest here and we will let you know when the live stream goes live!

SpotOn hosted by:

BMC Digital Science Nature Research

What is SpotOn?

SpotOn is a series of community events for researchers, science communicators, technologists, and those interested in science policy.

Our flagship conference is the annual SpotOn event in London, formerly called Science Online London. This year will be our seventh session.

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to the SpotOn site, please email us: