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How Science Matters Podcast Tile | Podcast Production | WRITTEN & RECORDED
A podcast that looks to find answers to the impact of COVID-19 through science

At a glance

Client: Burnet Institute


4,047 listens in first week

19,000+ downloads

Ranked in Top #100 podcasts

Ranked #2 science podcast on Apple

Heard in 82 countries

Featured in Apple Podcast’s New & Noteworthy

Featured in Apple Podcast’s Coronavirus category

Featured in Apple’s Podcast’s National Science Week category

Featured in The New Daily EDM

Featured in Podnews & Great Australian Pods

Featured in B&T

8,373 webpage views

8% increase in Twitter followers

Scope of work

Production / research / interviewing /copywriting / scripting/ editing / audio editing / audio engineering / distribution / strategic advice / marketing advice / design advice / media coverage / stakeholder management / project management

Format: Narrative style podcast series

Episodes: 8 episodes

Industry: Science, Health, Public Health

Project description

How Science Matters is a podcast series that demystifies the complexities of COVID-19, at a time when the world looked to science to solve the multifaceted problem of an unprecedented pandemic. Working with the Burnet Institute (a key adviser to the Australian Government and the global pandemic response), we took a deep dive into a narrative-style podcast series. Each episode showcased the organisation’s leading scientific experts to help shape the public understanding of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

The challenge

The Burnet Institute is an Australian medical research institute on a mission to achieve better health for vulnerable communities worldwide through research, public health and international development programs.

As the pandemic took a firm grip, misinformation and miscommunication about COVID-19 spread as quickly as the virus. The Burnet Institute wanted to throw a spotlight on key scientific facts, while making this information relatable and digestible. The task was to rise above the noise of amateur commentators and amplify Burnet’s role in advocacy and thought leadership.

Recognising that the pandemic would continue to affect many lives for years to come, and given the fast-moving nature of the virus, the Burnet Institute wanted to focus on shared insights about key lessons learned.

Through the lens of the COVID-19 response, the emphasis needed to be on the impact of stigma, poverty, and equity when it comes to setbacks and breakthroughs in public health.

The solution

As Melbourne moved in and out of lockdowns with shifting COVID-19 restrictions, we worked around these severe constraints to tell the story of Burnet’s impact in the global response to COVID-19.

Kicking off with a detailed strategy session, we followed through with focused editorial guidance, to empower the nation’s leading scientific thinkers to forensically uncover what it takes to battle a deadly virus. Working closely with these experts, we established a clear narrative for the overall series and for each individual episode.

At every step of the way we considered the audiences’ fears and possible confusion about COVID-19, and thus shaped a series that focussed on the human need for hope. Tapping into some of the best minds in infectious diseases and highlighting their personal challenges, we helped make sense of a mutating virus that continues to create uncertainty worldwide. We delivered in-depth research, crisp scriptwriting, and high-quality production values with soundbites and music that brought the subject to life.

Each episode was also accompanied with a corresponding blog and transcript to aid discoverability through SEO as well as enabling accessibility.     

Working with the marketing team we also shaped a pre-launch campaign by producing a titillating audio trailer and video tease designed for social media to build awareness and to get the community to subscribe to the series. As part of this, we came up with the promotional catchphrase: ‘We want this podcast to spread like a virus – but in a good way!’

We also forged partnerships with key media outlets, including The New Daily which featured the series on their site and weekly EDM, which was sent to more than 400,000 email subscribers.

To promote listens, we further worked with the marketing team to activate a strategic multi-channel marketing campaign. We also ensured the podcast was featured in Apple’s New & Noteworthy category, as well as its Coronavirus: Stay Informed category and National Science Week category.

The outcome

In its first week of launch, How Science Matters featured in the Top #100 podcasts in the Apple’s charts and reached #2 in the Science category. In the English-speaking world, the podcast was heard across Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, and Canada. However, listeners came from across 82 countries, including places like PNG and Myanmar.

In its first week of launch, the podcast reached over 4,000 listens and the series garnered over 19,900 downloads within two months. Six months after launch, the series was still gaining new listeners in February 2022, despite a general winding down of coronavirus focused conversations.

The series was immensely successful in strengthening and expanding the Burnet Institute brand. The podcast was responsible for almost 9,000 webpage views which took browsers to a dedicated landing page with the latest releases, links, and full transcripts – and nearly 1,500 of those were new website users. Similarly, social media engagement of the brand went up – Twitter followers alone went up by 48.8%.

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What's it like to work with us?

Alan | Podcast Production Agency | WRITTEN & RECORDED

James set up a studio and a number of podcasts for my website. During an investing conference he assured me I didn’t need to shout, just let the microphones do the work – his recording and editing made me sound better than I remembered!

The Constant Investor
Neel | Podcast Production Agency | WRITTEN & RECORDED

This awesome team helped me launch the Diversity Initiative in our organisation. They explained what needed to happen to get a podcast launched, and even went out of their way to launch the podcast on social media for wider coverage.

Melissa | Podcast Production Agency | Written & Recorded

Written & Recorded partnered with Interchange to get our podcast started. They took the time to bring our vision to life with research, interviews, and creative storytelling. Great to work with. We appreciated their support and guidance.

Katharine | Podcast Production Agency | Written & Recorded

It’s been a delight to work with Written & Recorded on our podcast. Their invaluable advice and skillful editing transformed the material I gave them and let the story and the guests shine. It was so easy and exceeded all expectations.

Lucy | Podcast Production Agency | WRITTEN & RECORDED

Working with Written & Recorded has been a pleasure. They ensured interviewees were comfortable and felt supported, their questions elicited wonderful insights and the podcast editing process was a dream. I’m so happy with the outcome.

Education Services Australia
Wayne | Podcast Production Agency | WRITTEN & RECORDED

The Master Series podcast was made possible by the expert guidance, knowledge and skill-sets of Written & Recorded. Their craft has shown how much of a key role podcasting plays in creating valuable content. Their production is top draw!

Robbie | Podcast Production Agency | WRITTEN & RECORDED

We’ve had difficulty with copywriters who just don’t get what we do. Written & Recorded bring a journalistic approach to uncovering the story. They not only got it, but I could see my words, the way I would express myself, in the copy.

Exvos Consulting
Hardy Audio | Podcast Production Agency | WRITTEN & RECORDED

Written & Recorded bring a freshness and enthusiasm to copywriting that is rare to find. I need a copywriter that writes quickly and on-brief. Written & Recorded deliver every time. They’ve even driven to Ballarat to meet in my office.

Hardy Audio

Written & Recorded uncovered stories, found the right characters to bring them to life and gave good advice to pitch to media. They handled the process admirably – sharing discoveries, discussing new angles, and managing stakeholders.

Movember Foundation
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