Building National Capacity in Science Communication for STEM Graduate Students

Friday, 14 February 2014: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Columbus AB (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Along with research excellence, effective science communication is an essential skill needed by the science workforce of tomorrow. To engage more effectively across disciplinary boundaries and at the interface of science and society, next-generation scientists must be ready to recognize the “so what” of their science and be equipped to share it with varied audiences using many diverse channels. However, building systemic communications capacity will require academy-wide buy-in and changes in the funding mechanisms that support graduate education. In 2013, COMPASS conducted a survey of existing communications training opportunities for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduate students and convened a workshop to explore how to systemically improve the quantity and quality of such training. This session builds upon the findings of the workshop by setting the stage for STEM graduate education at a crossroads; discussing communication capacity as a core professional component necessary in a changing workforce; introducing the challenge of scaling, including aligning expectations of core communication competencies and evaluation techniques, along with ensuring connectivity between people and institutions; and providing case studies as examples of how large-scale change might occur. The material presented will motivate a discussion on how to move forward, integrating panel feedback with ideas for actionable steps from audience members.
Erica Goldman, COMPASS
Elizabeth Neeley, COMPASS
Brooke Smith, COMPASS
James Bell, Association of Science-Technology Centers
and Jay B. Labov, U.S. National Academy of Sciences
Gerald Blazey, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Graduate Education Modernization
Bruce V. Lewenstein, Cornell University
Defining Core Competencies in Science Communication
Rachel M. Mitchell, University of Washington
Case Study: Grassroots ENGAGE-ment at the University of Washington
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