Communicating Science to the General Public
Effective communication skills enable practitioners to engage non-experts, inform public opinion and policymakers, inspire the next generation of scientists and voters, and improve our own research process. This workshop takes a hands-on approach to learning the tricks of science communication, focusing on science communication as a conversation. The skills practiced can be applied to all channels of communication, from a public lecture to a social media feed. You will leave this workshop with personal goals for public outreach as well as ideas for incorporating communications training into your geoscience curriculum.
Scientists are regularly asked to share their research in informal settings during their careers: a classroom, a museum, a science center, a library, a public conference. But engaging the public to really understand sometimes complex notions does not necessarily comes naturally. Gaining some insight and tools from Informal Science Education (ISE) experts will help you better communicate science with a public of all ages and backgrounds. This short course will introduce you to these tools using the Portal to the Public ( This site may be offline. ) program, as well as materials developed by the conveners. All materials will be available to participants after the course to use with their own students. (Some materials require that participants have no prior knowledge of the activity to be effective, so we don't want to spoil the experience by posting materials here in advance.)
This course will cover general communications skills that help us to communicate more effectively in all media. The course will also address specific topics such as social media, misinformation, and elevator speeches, which have proven to be of interests to participants of past short courses run by the conveners.
This workshop is designed for any educator interested in more effectively communicating science to the public and/or teaching students to better communicate their science to both peers and the public. Even seasoned communicators and lecturers will find something new to strengthen their skills and broaden their perspective on reaching and connecting with different audiences.
You will leave this workshop with personal goals for public outreach as well as ideas for incorporating communications training into your geoscience curriculum.
Each day will include interactive, hands-on learning, with time for reflection and discussion on each topic. The first day focuses on experiential learning activities addressing general communications skills, with discussion and reflection after each activity. The second day shifts to specific communications channels, with practice, short introductions to various topics followed by open discussion, and time for development and sharing of implementation plans.