Sir Mark Walport, UK chief scientist, stated in 2013, “Science isn’t finished until it’s communicated.” The Knowledge Exchange (KX), a unit in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, was created to do just that. The team launched a new data and communications platform Oct. 1, kx.osu.edu, designed to help broader audiences connect with the world-class research from the college in one centralized resource.
KX translates research into engaging communication products—stories, videos, tools, FAQs—for Ohio State University Extension professionals, decision-makers, and the general public. KX works closely with specialists and educators from Extension (the outreach arm of the college) to understand their needs and what communication products would be beneficial for their work and local communities. But the mission of the unit goes beyond translation. KX actively collaborates with researchers and other Ohio State entities to build a story around complex issues affecting Ohio, such as water quality, farm trends, and food supply systems.
Users can explore four main topic “buckets” on the site: Data and Tools, Environment and Natural Resources, Food and Agriculture, and People and Communities. Over 25 subtopics ranging from health and medicine to harmful algal blooms and water quality cover the latest research findings. Feedback is welcome, and users are encouraged to ask questions in a full circle of engagement that could inspire future research.
KX is currently developing decision tools and interactive features for upcoming projects. Two tools now available on the site include Community Profiles—incorporating census data in an easy-to-navigate menu—and eFields, a searchable database of research from the Ohio State Digital Ag Program. And the team hopes to attract audiences to science using different techniques. Coming up later this year: a collaboration with composers from the Ohio State School of Music offers musical interpretations of stories around food insecurity, a farm community, and life on the lake.
The site is just the beginning for KX. Updates to features and tools will be continuous, with new projects, data, and links to translated research added weekly. Have a research story about your work to tell KX? Reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.