SciComm Exchange

Science Communication Workshops | Communication Training for Scientists

With support from the Rhode Island NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), Metcalf Institute launched the SciComm Exchange program in 2014. The series was developed for natural and social science faculty, researchers and graduate Corey Dean -SciComm Resizedstudents from colleges and universities throughout Rhode Island,  to expand their understanding of best practices in science communication and facilitate related discussions across institutional boundaries.

Held in partnership with higher education institutions throughout Rhode Island, Metcalf Institute’s SciComm Exchanges provide opportunities for scientists to strengthen their communication skills through informal conversations about science communication topics with their colleagues and featured speakers over lunch.

  • Moving Research to Action
    April 11, 2017
    Brown University
    What role can researchers play in policy decisions that shape the future of our state?Finding ways to get your research into the hands of policymakers and community leaders can be challenging. While a peer-reviewed journal is often the destination for most scholarly publications, the dense, discipline-specific language can be inaccessible for decision makers outside academia. Amber Caulkins, program director for The College & University Research Collaborative (The Collaborative),will discuss opportunities for grant funding and explain how you can share your research with Rhode Island policymakers.
  • From Research to Practice: Making Science Communication Matter
    December 2, 2016
    University of Rhode Island, Kingston

    How well are scientists engaging the public in their research? The growing demand for effective science communication, evolving communications tools including social media, and rapid changes in information access raise a wide range of questions among scholars. John Durant, director of the MIT Museum and adjunct professor in MIT’s Science, Technology, and Society Program, shared his views on the relationship between science communication research and how science engagement is actually practiced.
  • Social Media for Science Communication
    February 24, 2016
    Many scientists are intimidated by social networking tools, but Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have become important tools to help faculty and researchers communicate with students, colleagues, funders, and public audiences. Metcalf Institute, in partnership with Rhode Island College’s Center for Research and Creative Activity, held a SciComm Exchange featuring a social media expert who provided tips for making the most of these valuable tools.
  • How to Provide Scientific Testimony
    October 15, 2015
    University of Rhode Island, Kingston
    Testifying is a rare and exciting opportunity to tell your story and promote your research in the process, but it can also be intimidating. This event featured speaker Amy Carroll of Brown University, a former staff member for U.S. Senator Susan Collins and staff director of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Subcommittee on the Environment, Technology and Standards. Dr. Carroll outlined what policy makers are looking for in scientific testimony and provided tips on preparing and delivering remarks and answering questions from this important audience.
  • Formulating Your Scientific Message
    February 4, 2015
    University of Rhode Island, Narragansett Bay Campus
    Researchers must be able to craft effective scientific messages, whether presenting their research at a conference or sharing their findings with peers or potential funders. Featured speakers Susanne Menden-Deuer of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and Heather Goldstone of WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR station, shared strategies for developing these clear messages. The SciComm Exchange was followed by a Scientific Poster Design Workshop.
  • Visualizing Complex Data
    November 13, 2014
    Rhode Island School of Design
    Edna Lawrence Nature Lab
    Providence, RI
    Experts discussed techniques for creating compelling visualizations of scientific data, including large and complex data sets, for scientific and non-scientific audiences.  Participants had an opportunity to have informal conversations with experts and their peers about effective graphical approaches for conveying data.
  • Explaining Scientific Uncertainty
    April 16, 2014
    University of Rhode Island, Kingston
    Featuring former editor of The New York Times’ Science Times, Cornelia Dean, this session provided participants with a veteran science journalist’s perspective on the challenges and effective techniques for explaining scientific uncertainty.
  • Crafting a Clear Research Message
    February 25, 2014
    Brown University
    Metcalf Institute held its first SciComm Exchange in partnership with Brown University on February 25, 2014 at the Brown Science Library. The SciComm Exchange featured two local experts who shared their perspectives on why it is important to craft a clear message about your research, and how to customize that message for different audiences.  The speakers were Meaghan Wims, Public Relations and Public Affairs Group, Duffy & Shanley; Annie Sherman Luke, author and the managing editor, Newport Life Magazine.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement #EPS-1004057.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are thosensf-plain-blue
of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.



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