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Opportunities for Public Communication of Science

October 16, 2020 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

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speakers for Oct 16 panel discussion on Opportunities for Public Communication of Science

Schedule for the Panel Discussion

Friday, 16 October REGISTER NOW

4:30 pm

  • Ray Jayawardhana, Dean of Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences, Professor of Astronomy, and popular science writer (most recently, of the children’s book Child of the Universe [2020]).
  • Carlyn Buckler, Associate Professor of Practice, School of Integrated Plant Sciences, Cornell University
  • Geoff Hunt (Cornell, AB ‘03, Biochemistry), Public Outreach Specialist, American Society of Microbiology and co-organizer of SciEngage virtual science engagement group discussions
  • John Clarke, Director of Occupational Medicine, Cornell Health, and producer of “Health Hop®” and other rap-based public health videos, including ones about coronavirus

6:00(ish) pm

Virtual happy hour with informal discussion

Supported by the Department of Communication and Careers Beyond Academia

The open public panel will be followed by COMM5660 Science Communication Workshop over the course of the weekend Oct 17 & 18 all day, both days. To enroll and learn more, see below.

Bruce Lewenstein http://blogs.cornell.edu/scicommworkshop/

COMM5660 Science Communication Workshop

The weekend workshop will be offered entirely online, through Cornell’s Canvas system and Zoom.

This intensive weekend workshop introduces graduate students and post-docs in the sciences (including natural sciences, engineering, experimental social sciences, etc.) to communicating effectively – especially about controversial topics, such as climate change or evolution – with nonscientists such as policy makers, political stakeholders, the media, and the general public. Activities include role-playing, mini-lectures, hands-on practice writing blog posts and other outreach materials, real-time practice being interviewed for the media, and discussion with invited speakers.

Friday afternoon begins with a panel of speakers talking about opportunities in public communication followed by some informal discussion time with the speakers and participants.

Saturday comprises writing for the public through press releases and blogs.  You’ll get practice.  Plenty of practice.  Sunday is devoted to constructing a message and delivering it in a broadcast media interview. Throughout the weekend we’ll also meet other scientists and science communicators, learning from their experience.

This course is supported by the Department of Communication and Careers Beyond Academia.

Course website

To enroll for COMM 5660

Since the course is a 7-week 1st session class and the deadline was Sept. 5, to enroll, please email gradcareers@cornell.edu and we will forward the list of enrollees to the registrar, with the instructor’s consent.

Professor Bruce Lewenstein
303 Morrill Hall
607-255-8310 (office)
b.lewenstein@cornell.edu (e-mail)
Office hours (virtual): Tuesdays, 1:00-3:00pm and happily by appointment

Learning Objectives
After participating in this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss science communication opportunities, both within traditional scientific careers and as stand-alone careers
  • Begin identifying characteristics of potential audiences for science communication
  • Write drafts of short texts (such as blog posts, tweets, and similar items) for non-scientific audiences
  • Begin planning for media interviews
  • Discuss social, ethical, and scholarly issues associated with science communication


October 16, 2020
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
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