Participating in the AAAS Communicating Science workshop offers you a starting set of skills, but practice will help you improve. We suggest the following resources, events, and programs to build your skills.
Photo credit: University of Maryland
Need a refresher on the basics covered in the workshop—and then some? Visit the AAAS Communicating Science website for online resources.
AAAS offers programs and fellowships for scientists who want to get involved in different aspects of communication.
- AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships
- AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program
- AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute
Define Your Audience
To get a broad understanding of U.S. audience attitudes to science, check out Chapter 7 of the Science and Engineering Indicators.
Develop Your Message
Don’t forget the 3Ms! A good message is miniature, memorable, and meaningful.
Here are a few examples and resources for developing a jargon-free message:
- The Up-Goer Five Text Editor by Theo Sanderson
- Communicating the science of climate change (2011) Richard Somerville and Susan Joy Hassol, Physics Today. - See chart titled "Terms that have different meanings for scientists and the public"
- 2-minute Thesis by PhD Comics
Opportunities to Communicate
Attending a workshop and using the online resources is a strong start to building your skills, but practice can help you develop them. For your next lab open house, school event, or science café appearance, remember the skills discussed at the workshop.
A few places to start looking for opportunities:
- Science Festival Alliance
- Nerd Nite
- Science Cafes
- Science and Technology Centers
- Reddit: Ask Science or Ask Me Anything
- Wikipedia Editing
Practice and Review
Use a video recorder to record and playback your messages. Better yet, work as a group or ask friends to record your message delivery and provide constructive feedback.
Start a Group of Scientist-Communicators
If you attended the workshop with colleagues from your institution, continue to meet and practice together. Spend time in a small group developing and honing the messages you started during the workshop.