Keynote Address

The ComSciCon-Sd 2018 team is delighted to announce as keynote speaker UCSD Astrophysicist Brian Keating, author of Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor.  

Panel Discussions

Science Communication and Your Career

Panelists will discuss the ways in which they either (a) made a career out of science communication after training in academia, or (b) incorporate science communication into their academic career. 


  • Jenn MacArthur - Life Science Content Marketing Writer
  • Heather Buschman - Senior Public Information Officer, UCSD Health
  • Ramin Skibba - Science Writer and Freelance Journalist 

More than Just Diversity: Why Science Needs Inclusivity

Following the enthusiastic reception for ComSciCon-SD's 2017 panel on Inclusivity in Science, panelists will discuss the subtle and not-so-subtle distinctions between diveristy and inclusivity, the evidence surrounding those isssues in the scientific community, and the role for graduate students, science communicators, and scientists in fostering an inclusive communitiy. 


  • Daniel Aguirre - Community Engagement Manager at the Fleet Science Center
  • Andrea Letamendi - Associate Director of Mental Health Training, Intervention, and Response for the Office of Residential Life at UCLA
  • Gentry Patrick - Professor of Neurobiology, UCSD

Connecting Science and Policy 

What is the role of scientific evidence in informing and shaping public policy? What factors limit the application of science to policy? How can effective science communication improve the relationship between society and the lab? 



At ComSciCon's signature Write-A-Thon, attendees workshop a prepared piece of writing in small groups. Each author is asked to read a small number of their peers' pieces in advance, to better prepare constructive feedback. All writers will have a chance to improve their pieces on the basis of recieving feedback from their groups. 

Breakout Sessions

Perhaps the easist access point for graduate students itching to communicate science is blogging — that's why we focus on it in the Write-A-Thon. But there are other media for showing off your (and others') science! Graphics and data visualizations, podcasts and videos, social media, and the news media each carry a unique set of challenges and opportunities for a science communicator. In these breakout sessions, atendees will learn to expand the set of tools they have available for creating clear and compelling scientific explanations. 

*please note that all events and speakers are subject to change.