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Cornell University


Thursday, September 27, 2018
Takeaways on how to communicate science

Prof. Bruce Lewenstein led the COMM5660 Science Communication Workshop which aims to train researchers in the sciences to communicate effectively with non scientists such as policy makers, political stakeholders, the media, and the general public. Learn what participants got out of the workshop and consider registering for the Spring session March 1-3, 2019:

"This workshop was incredibly important for exposing new career paths. There were plenty of activities that required implementing what we were taught. For example, writing different types of ledes for different audiences, blog posts, etc. The implicit (though casual) timeline forced us to get over immediate perfectionism/procrastination and created a constructive learning environment. Being able to label certain communication tools was also great (labeling explanatory techniques as “quasi-scientific/transformative/etc” within our own writing drove home the concepts).     

This workshop provided current, practical advice for communicating with members of the media, knowing what to look for in journalistic articles, how to enter a new (and otherwise foreign) career path, what skills are useful outside of academia, what fellowships and opportunities might be available, how to get involved within Cornell and after we graduate, etc. Bruce’s advice and the resources he directed us to were extremely valuable to me." (Microbiology)

"I learned that most people connect better when you elicit emotions through personal stories rather than by listing facts, which is contrary to what most scientists (myself included) would think." (Biological and Environmental Engineering)

 "Lots of resources and ideas on how to get involved in different ways with science communication - it's not just a single entry career." (Unknown field)

 "I was exposed to the variety of ways to get involved in science communication. The talks gave me a lot of ideas about what opportunities I might consider going forward."(Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)

"This workshop helps me explore identify skills that can be translated in to a career in Science communication. The main takeaways from this experience are: 

  1. Identify a scientific communication activity that matches your interest, skills, and talent. 
  2. Think about how to combine science with communication from your own research perspective (scientific field). 
  3. A journalist or non-scientific mind will see a scientific discovery from a very different perspective. When explaining your ideas think about your audience." (Food Science and Technology)

"The methods to explain the science to the public. The skills to involved in an interview." (Food Science and Technology)

"How to communicate true knowledge." (Education)