Author: Dacia Herbulock – Science Media Centre (NZ), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Yael Barel – Faculty of Education in Science and Technology, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Todd Newman – Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, Stony Brook University

Over recent years, demand for communication and media training for scientists has increased. Scientists themselves and their institutions recognize that science needs to demonstrate its relevance to society, but still find it challenging to communicate effectively outside of familiar environments. To meet this need, a diverse and large number of science communication training programs have developed around the world in order to provide guidance to scientists and STEM students on how to communicate effectively with different audiences. These programs vary in their approach and objectives and range in length – from a few hours of exposure or short workshops that meet over the course of the year, to semester-long academic courses.

Recently, researchers across a number of different disciplines have focused on the assessment of science communication trainings, and research on science communication training is becoming an active academic research field. One of the main issues that research in this field has unveiled is that programs tend to operate in isolation. As a result, there is limited discussion of best practice and limited understanding of how training programs are structured to align with specific communication goals.

We see the need to foster constructive dialogue among science communication training organizations. This roundtable discussion will bring together leading science communication training researchers and practitioners from Israel (Technion), New Zealand (Science Media Centre), and the United States (Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science) to share their approaches to science communication training as well as present data on the outcomes of these trainings.

In this session, we will invite discussion of a range of training approaches, examine the effectiveness of particular exercises for desired outcomes, consider the optimal length of training and share lessons learned. Our goal is to cultivate an ongoing dialogue in the science communication community about best practices in science communication training.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Applying science communication research to practice