21 September 2017

Scicommer: Have message, will travel.

Posted by Shane Hanlon

By Shane M Hanlon

Last year I wrote a post about the need for scicomm professionals on PhD student committees, accompanied by this fantastic cartoon:

So far, I haven’t been contacted by anyone to indulge this request, but I am hopeful. Recently though, I’ve been thinking about more accessible ways to bring together scicomm professionals and graduate students (aside from requesting a Sharing Science workshop, which you should do, seriously).

As a former academic, I remember heading down to our auditorium every Thursday at 4pm for our seminar series where scientists from around the country were invited to give ~1hr lectures on their science. Seminars series are a popular feature of academia and can run the gamut of really great, engaging speakers, to stereotypical scientists with awful comms skills.  While hearing and learning about science from other fields can be a fantastic experience, hearing from folks who do and teach successful science communication and policy work could be invaluable.

Science communcation spans across all fields and there is a science behind science communication. Undergrads, graduate students, and faculty alike could benefit greatly from hearing from scicomm professionals (many of whom, including me, are scientists by training which would fulfill many programs’ speaker requirements). Perhaps someday, most departmental seminars will look something like this:

-Shane M Hanlon is a Senior Specialist in AGU’s Sharing Science program.