Communicating Science Workshops

AAAS has offered 165 workshops for more than 5,000 scientists and engineers since the program launched in 2008. | Stephen Waldron/AAAS

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AAAS Communicating Science workshops, developed by the Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, are specifically designed to address the needs of scientists and engineers to communicate scientific or technical information in a variety of public and professional interactions, such as media interviews, writing grant proposals, discussing ideas with students, testifying before Congress, or participating in public forums.

Workshop goals include building scientists’ communication skill and confidence in engaging with public audiences and providing best practices for use of different communication methods and mechanisms. The program uses empirical evidence from research in science communication and public engagement with science, and maintains an evaluation program that confirms workshops are meeting defined goals. Read what participants think about our workshops on our Testimonials and Evaluations page.

Format

Through discussion, self-reflection, small group work, and practice sessions, workshops focus on the importance of effective communication that clearly conveys scientific concepts. We encourage workshop participants to think about how content applies to their own work and future communication opportunities.

Our standard workshops – described below – are designed for up to 50 participants and last for three hours. Costs for a standard workshop start at $4,500, plus travel for the facilitator, and discounts are available for multiple workshops. If you have a larger group, would like additional facilitators, or would like to create a longer training program that incorporates multiple workshops, we can work with you to develop a plan that fits your needs.

We also offer shorter seminars, mini-workshops, and individualized coaching for each of the workshop topics and on topics such as communicating climate change, interacting with the media, and using visuals to communicate effectively. Generally these complement a longer workshop, but may be offered independently.

Content

Our workshops and seminars provide scientists and engineers with communication skills, resources and practice developing and presenting messages. Our topical module options are:

Science Communication and Public Engagement Fundamentals
The flagship Science Communication and Public Engagement Fundamentals module focuses on the core components of successful public engagement. Participants are introduced to the AAAS public engagement framework, a guide they can apply to all kinds of interactions. Participants learn how to identify a public engagement goal, determine the relevant audience, craft tailored messages to achieve their goal and rehearse their engagement scenario.

Engaging the Public with Social Media
The Engaging the Public with Social Media module covers the latest research on use of social media, including why and how scientists can use it to engage, an introduction to using Twitter, and best practices for engaging in online conversations and using social media metrics. Participants identify their goal and audience, and develop sample tweets.

Engaging Policymakers
The Engaging Policymakers module provides an overview of the science policy landscape and the role of science and scientists in the policy process. This workshop introduces basic best practices for engaging in dialogue with this target audience at a local, state or national level. Participants identify individual communication goals and develop short messages that will resonate with policy audiences.

Workshops in Action

AAAS Communicating Science workshops can be held for scientists at all career levels - including graduate students - and from all disciplines. | Matthew Hamilton/Georgetown University

Learn More

Find out about workshop logistics and get on our calendar. Host a Workshop.

Testimonials & Evaluation

Hear from past workshop participants about their experience at AAAS workshops. Testimonials & Evaluation

Contact Us

Get in touch to discuss your organization’s needs and how AAAS can help. Contact Us

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