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Science communication workshop (COMM5660)

October 3, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Starting with a public panel discussion on Opportunities for Public Communication of Science, this weekend workshop trains researchers in the sciences (including natural sciences, engineering, experimental social sciences, etc.) to communicate effectively with nonscientists such as policy makers, political stakeholders, the media, and the general public. Training activities may include role-play, mini lectures, reading/discussion, hands-on writing blog posts and other outreach materials, real-time practice being interviewed for the media, and discussion with invited speakers. Several guest speakers will be featured throughout the weekend. The below public panel discussion on Opportunities in Science Communication kicks off the COMM 5660 course and is held Friday 4:30-6:30pm. The weekend workshop runs 9-5pm Saturday and Sunday. Lunch is on your own. Must attend all three sessions for credit.

Learning Objectives:

After participating in this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Discuss science communication opportunities, both within traditional scientific careers and as standalone 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

To get credit for the class you must attend all sessions. Enroll now via class roster. If past the add/drop deadline, please email Susi Varvayanis (sv27@cornell.edu) with your Cornell netID.


“One of the most engaging Careers Beyond Academia/BEST experiences for me was a science communication workshop that I attended taught by Bruce Lewenstein. This was an excellent crash course on science communication and forced me to think through how the public receives and perceives scientific news and how I could best communicate my own work to the public without over complicating it.”-Felicity Emerson, Biomedical and Biological Sciences

To prepare:

Come with a brief (100-200 word) written summary of your own research. You will use this summary as the basis for class activities. If you are interested in science blogging, set up your own blog site in advance (Google’s Blogger service is pretty simple to use, but you’re welcome to try another service if you prefer; WordPress is also useful if you want a full website). You will need a computer or tablet (probably with a keyboard), as you will be looking at things online and writing during the workshop.

More more information, see last year’s syllabus.

Opportunities for Public Communication of Science panel discussion

Friday 4:30-6:30pm-this session is open to the public featuring panelists:

Janani Hariharan, PhD student in soil ecology, freelance science writer
Andy Sanchez, PhD student in chemical and biomolecular engineering, policy advocate
Jasmine Marcus ’10, physical therapist and blogger
Ben Mirin, PhD student in natural resources & the environment, audio and video artist and explorer

Location: MVR 1101 – this is the main auditorium, accessible through the main doors close to the new art installation between Bailey Hall and MVR

Accessibility Requests

We strive to make our events accessible to all community members. Individuals who would like to request accessibility accommodations should contact gradcareers@cornell.edu. We ask that requests be made at least one week in advance to help ensure they can be met.

Supported by Careers Beyond Academia and led by Bruce Lewenstein, Professor of Science Communication.


October 3, 2021
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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