Thursday, February 27, 2020

Fralin Hall Auditorium

5:30 - 6:30 PM, Reception 

6:30 - 8:00 PM, Keynote/Kickoff Event

Fralin Hall Atrium and Auditorium 

Connecting 21st-Century Information to Stone-Age Brains: Numbers, Uncertainty, Surprise and More       

Regina Nuzzo, PhD


Friday, February 28, 2020

Graduate Life Center Multipurpose Room, Conference Rooms C and F

8:30 - 9:30 AM, Breakfast and Opening Remarks 

GLC Multipurpose Room

9:45 - 11:45 AM, Morning Sessions

Location Panel/Workshop Title Presenter(s)
GLC Room F Panel: Disseminating Your Research through Social Media and Beyond

Susan Balding, Media Relations Director for Child Trends

Ubadah Sabbagh, Phd Candidate in Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health

Kelly Scarff, PhD Candidate in Rhetoric and Writing

Dr. Nicholas Caruso, Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conversavtion 

GLC Room B Inclusive STEAM Communication

Christa Miller, Director of Inclusive Media Services

Martina Svyantek, PhD Student and GA for Accessible Technologies

Stephanie Edwards Compton, PhD Student in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise

GLC Multipurpose Room Your Research in a Nutshell

Maddy Grupper, Graduate Student in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Grace Davis, Graduate Student in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise 


12:00 - 1:00 PM, Lunch

GLC Multipurpose Room

1:15 - 3:30 PM, Afternoon Sessions

Location Panel/Workshop Title Presenter(s)
GLC Room C Communicating Science Through the Arts

Steven T. Licardi, Intensive In-Home Therapist for New River Valley Community Services

George Hardebeck, Owner of

Alex Freeze, Science Communicator and Assistant Researcher for Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

GLC Room F Communicating Science Through Policy and Advocacy: A Panel Discussion

Dr. ConSandra McNeil, Science and Technology Policy Fellow

Dr. Brian Langloss, Lead Policy Analyst for

Dr. Todd Schenk, Assistant Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech

Dr. Taylor Scott, Associate Director of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration team

Dr. Beth Long, Co-director of Communications for the National Prevention Science Coalition

GLC Room B Write-a-Thon: Finding the Story in Your Science Katie Burke, Digital Editor of American Scientist


3:35 PM, Closing Remarks, Reception, and Networking

GLC Room F 

Thursday 2/27

Keynote and Kickoff Event, 5:30 - 8:00 PM 

Join Virginia Tech's Center for Communicating Science and the Communicating Science Club for the launch of the second annual ComSciCon-Virginia Tech! Thursday evening's event is an opportunity for graduate students from disciplines all across campus to begin connecting, communicating, and collaborating before they dive into the great workshops and panels on offer all day Friday. A short reception will be held in Fralin Atrium from 6-7pm, with our kickoff event Keynote Speaker, Dr. Regina Nuzzo, from 7-8pm in Fralin Auditorium. The title of the keynote is: Connecting 21st-Century Information to Stone-Age Brains: Numbers, Uncertainty, Surprise and More.

Friday 2/28

Morning Sessions, 9:45 - 11:45 AM

Your Research in a Nutshell

Learn to distill your research into a 90-second summarized talk that is accessible to non-scientific audiences. This interactive workshop will involve games, practice techniques, and feedback to help boil their research down to the nutshell. By the end of the workshop, you will have created and practices a description of your research perfect to share with a grant reviewer, future employer, fellow graduate student, or even your best friend's mom. 

Accessibility in STEAM Communication

This hands-on workshop will guide you to make your STEAM communication more accessible. Explore yourself, your field, and your general audeience to learn step by step, tangible ways to communicate with all audiences! 

Disseminating Your Research through Social Media and Beyond

The panelists will give advice and strategies for where and how to disseminate scientific findings to the general public. There will be an emphasis on framing your research for social media, as well as tips for presenting it - and yourself - to the media. 

Afternoon Sessions, 1:15 - 3:30 PM

Communicating Science through the Arts

Have you thought about using poetry to communicate your research? What about photography? During this workshop, participants will learn about what motivated our workshop speakers to pursue careers in science communication using art as their communication medium. Participants will work in small groups with our speakers to learn how to translate their research into art. 

Write-a-thon: Finding the Story in Your Science

How do scientists craft the stories that appear in publications like American Scientist and Discover magazine? First, they have to find the "story" of their research, a method that enables non-experts to mroe easily understand the scientific method and process. Our workshop leaders will guide you in storyboarding your own research to create a narrative you can develop into a science story. 

Communicating Science Through Policy and Advocacy: A Panel Discussion

Do you ever wonder how you can be involved in translating your basic science research to something relevant to the public? In this interactive session, you’ll get a chance to hear from an expert panel about skills needed and opportunities available to connect your research to policy and advocacy work. 

Reception, 3:35 PM

Mingle with fellow conference-goers, learn about their research, and become part of a community of people connecting across difference.

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