Summer 2013 ComSciCon

  • 2013 Group Photo

    The attendees were selected based on their achievement in and enthusiasm for communicating science

  • Pop Talks

    Truly a highlight of the workshop, every ComSciCon session opened with 1 minute "pop talks" from attendees

  • Professor Rob Lue (Harvard)

    "Anything that weaves science a little more closely into the fabric of the world is worthwhile."

  • Poster Sessions

    ComSciCon attendees shared the many unique communication and outreach initiatives using video and web content on digital posters

  • Write-a-thon

    Attendees wrote two-page articles using the ideas from the day's sessions and and then met with experts for feedback.

Communicating Science Workshop, June 13-15, 2013, Microsoft NERD Center, Cambridge, MA 02138

Overview

Fifty graduate students in all fields of science and engineering gathered in Cambridge, MA on June 13-15th, 201 3 for the Communicating Science workshop (ComSciCon). This first-of-its-kind event, fully organized and operated by a team of nine graduate students, empowered young scientists to act as ambassadors for their fields by learning from experts, workshopping original writing pieces, and interacting with their peers. The attendees were selected from from more than 730 applicants based on their achievement in and enthusiasm for communicating science to diverse audiences. As we issue this report, the list of accomplishments by our attending students is already long. With the connections now established between these fifty young leaders in science communication, and new collaborations already formed, this list will continue to grow in the coming months.

Expert Panels

Twenty-one expert science communicators from theatre, journalism, publishing, and more discussed their work and answered questions from attendees during seven panel sessions. Amanda Martinez, a writer for The Atlantic and others, advised attendees that her favorite writing "accorded me the basic human dignity of allowing me to draw my own conclusions.

Pop talks

Truly a highlight of the workshop, every ComSciCon session opened with 1 minute "pop talks" from attendees about their research. Attendees wielding "awesome" and "jargon" cards provided live feedback to the speakers.

Write-a-thon

On Thursday night attendees wrote two-page articles using the ideas from the day's sessions. On Friday, small groups of students dished out comments and then met with experts for deep reads and thoughtful feedback.

Poster Session

ComSciCon attendees shared the many unique communication and outreach initiatives they are leading at locations around the country using video and web content on digital poster boards.

New student collaborations

Saturday's technical session featured a tutorial for starting new Astrobites spin-offs. Within an hour, ComSciCon attendees had founded the first spin-off site to be born from the workshop: GeoSciBites, focusing on undergraduates in the geological sciences. Other attendees are launching -bites sites for particle physics, ocean ecology, and STEM education.

Publishing

Many students sought publication for their writing in one of several outlets which have committed to accepting submissions from ComSciCon attendees. by our partner outlets. Publications list.

ComSciCon Executive Summary 2013 (pdf)797.28 KB
Full Report (pdf)5.23 MB