OR/14/019 Conclusions

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Mitchell, C J, Nice, S E, Stevenson, J P, Thomas, J E, Nash, G V and Noakes, L. 2014. Broadcasting the science stories of BGS. British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/14/058.

The public profile of the BGS has been successfully raised since the creation of its communications team in 2007 with a significant increase in media coverage, the number of visitors to the BGS websites and engagement with its social media channels. The BGS science strategy, Gateway to the Earth: Science for the next decade (BGS, 2014[1]), sets the basis for the communication agenda until 2024. It has the vision of BGS becoming a global geological survey with a focus on new technologies, responsible use of natural resources, management of environmental change and resilience to environment hazards.

The communication of BGS science and technology to its main audiences (the public, government and other decision makers, industry and private business, academia, BGS staff and the wider NERC community and the media) will be largely via the broadcast media and the internet. In order to engage these audiences it will be necessary to bring out the narratives in the science, use images and infographics to enable a clearer understanding of the research impacts and put real scientists in front of the camera to explain what they do directly to the world.

The BGS communication vision is to ‘establish the British Geological Survey as a global authority for geoscience’. The BGS will achieve this by:

  • becoming the ‘go-to’ organisation, the first point of contact, for all geoscience related news events in the UK, and a leading contact point for the global news media
  • using broadcast-quality video to communicate the scientific and technological research of the BGS
  • using infographics and other imagery to clearly illustrate the impact of the scientific and technological research of the BGS, the benefits to society and its global importance
  • engaging a wider audience by telling the science stories of the BGS, showing the human side of research and enthusing the next generation of geologists
  • creating a website that is the first port of call for geoscience information, providing people with what they want quickly and easily wherever they may be
  • creating a positive reputation and strong brand image for the BGS using social media to facilitate consistent, timely and effective two-way communication between the organisation and the public (including staff and stakeholders)
  • creating a novel digital publication channel, alongside the traditional print channels, to publish the excellent world-class scientific and technological research of the BGS
  • actively working with a range of communities within schools, colleges, universities and the general public to promote geoscience as a career choice and to explain BGS research
  • creating a more successful, positive and resourceful community of researchers within the BGS by effective and consistent two-way communication between the Executive and staff.


  1. BRITISH GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. 2014. Gateway to the Earth. (Keyworth, Nottingham: British Geological Survey.) Available from https://www.bgs.ac.uk/downloads/start.cfm?id=2895