GradSciComm: Integrating Science Communication Training into STEM Graduate Education

Friday, 14 February 2014
Columbus AB (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Erica Goldman , COMPASS, Silver Spring, MD
Over the past decade, COMPASS has witnessed demand for science communications training for graduate students far outstrip what either external organizations or institutional offerings can provide. In 2013, COMPASS surveyed the current state of communication training availability for graduate scientists across STEM disciplines, using a mix of interviews and crowd-sourced data. We anticipated, and found, a fragmented landscape with knowledge nodes often poorly connected across disciplines, agencies, and domains - even within the same institution. We have identified that defining a set of core competencies for science communication training will be an essential component in tackling the challenge of how to “scale up” available capacity. We also identified that there are likely to be multiple pathways toward systemic change, including institution-driven, funder-driven, and student-driven. Change could take place through a combination of all of these mechanisms, with any single pathway able to serve as a catalyst for systemic change. In December 2013, COMPASS convened an NSF-funded workshop to develop a roadmap that articulates what skills need to be taught and how they can be delivered at a scale commensurate with current demand.