Testimony

We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to ComSciCon events by graduate student attendees, invited experts, and other workshop participants.  Below is a selection of testimony from past workshop participants:

Messages from ComSciCon sponsors

"I've known the folks behind ComSciCon for a year now, and I think it's a fantastic resource for budding scientists who want to get better at explaining their work to their peers or the public"  - Wade Roush writing on the Knight Science Journalism program website

ComSciCon 2015 National Workshop invited expert testimony:

  • Invited K12 Teacher Leader, Dr. Kristen Cacciatore, Boston Public Schools: I am a discerning consumer of teacher Professional Development and I thought it was outstanding.  It is one thing to have a great idea -- bringing grad students interested in science communication together with science teachers -- but it takes a lot more than a great idea to implement an event that is valuable for all involved.  The session yesterday was generative, producing resources that will be useful for many over a long period, and informative, as both teachers and graduate students learned from each other. I was really excited to learn about soundscapes and squishy circuits myself.  It was a model of genuine collaboration, as both teachers' and grad students different expertises and perspectives were essential to generate the product.

ComSciCon 2015 National Workshop graduate student attendee testimony:

  • "At ComSciCon -- an event filled with many great experiences -- the write-a-thon was the most memorable experience for me. This was in part because it began before any of us met in person: it started with a blank sheet of paper and online discussions. Then, the peer group sessions, time spent on revisions late at night in my dorm room, the Pitch Slam, and meeting with an expert reviewer all fed the sense that my piece was developing into a highly polished product. Fantastic assistance from the ComSciCon organizers was also instrumental in helping me pitch to an actual publication outlet.  Today, a week after its publication, my article has already been read by thousands, translated into multiple languages, and started discussions around the world. I have ComSciCon to thank for making this possible -- it has transformed how I approach science writing for the public."

    ~Steven Pan, doctoral candidate at UC San Diego who studies human learning and memory published his piece, “The Interleaving Effect” in Scientific American Mind in August, 2015, excerpt below.  

ComSciCon 2014 National Workshop invited expert testimony:

ComSciCon 2014 National Workshop graduate student attendee testimony:

  • Best thing I've done in grad school.
  • I was THRILLED to be accepted into the workshop, but I didn't have any idea how amazing it would be. It is EASILY one of the best experiences I've had as a
    graduate student. I feel much more confident about my writing and much more informed about science communication in general.
  • It was wonderful. I am a better scientist for participating.
  • This   was   a truly  fantastic, informative,  and  educational  experience.    Probably the highlight   of   my   PhD thus   far.  I have never been  so  inspired  and  motivated   to   get   out   there and  communicate  for  the cause.   The   cause   that  is science.
  • This was an incredibly organized workshop. I was so honored  to  be  invited.  The other  attendees  were  very  impressive  and  I  felt  flattered  to  be  included  in  such  an  elite group. I am about to graduate and start a science communication career  in  earnest,  and  this  workshop was  perfectly  timed.  It  was  encouraging,  motivating,  and  inspiring  to  hear  from  the  panelists,  and  mostly  to  meet  other  incredible  young  people.  Everyone  really  believed in each others' ideas. Unlike your normal conference where there is often a feeling of competition in the  air,  this  felt  like  a  very  collaborative  and  warm  environment.  There  is  nothing  better  than  bringing  together a group of talented, motivated, and hard working young people and letting them just talk to each other for a few days. I left feeling invigorated and inspired, and I know the network I made at this conference will serve me well in the future. The organizers were incredible and I only wish more people could have this experience that I know was formative in my own career path.  To whatever funding agency may be reading this review, please fund ComSciCon, it was easily  one  of  the  most  meaningful  experiences  of my graduate school career in shaping my future. This work matters.

Unattributed testimony was collected anonymously through formal evaluation surveys collected from participants after our workshop programs.