The Center for Communicating Science:

The art of connecting across difference

The Center for Communicating Science  creates and supports opportunities for scientists, scholars, health professionals, and others to develop their abilities to communicate and connect. Our differences, whether they be racial, cultural, religious, education level, academic discipline, or research specialty, can divide us. But such differences also enrich our lives, broaden our perspectives, and strengthen our collaborations. Arts tools and practices can be used to bridge these divisions, helping participants  to learn to listen deeply, interact personally, directly, spontaneously, and responsively, and express themselves vividly. It is our intention to deepen human interaction, strengthen empathy and awareness of others, and develop collaborative team and leadership capacities in students, faculty, and industry and community partners.

A message from Alan Alda on the opening of the Center: "I'm delighted to know that the founding of the Center for Communicating Science at Virginia Tech is inspired by the work we do at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. It's my dream that innovative techniques for teaching communication will make the relationship between science and the public one that's close, warm, and exciting. I congratulate Virginia Tech as it strikes out on that path."


This is the Center's logo

March 2: The Center Celebrated its Grand Opening!

See the winning Nutshell Talks here!
Graduate students gave 90-second research talks in the first annual Nutshell Games, NPR's Joe Palca shared his experiences as a science correspondent, and Virginia Tech President Tim Sands... [read more]

Upcoming Events

Rising Silo Brewery

2351 Glade Road, Blacksburg

May 6, 1:00pm-2:30pm. 

More information here.

Intro to Improv for Scientists workshop

Mid-Atlantic regional conference of the American Society of Cell Biology

May 1

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda

24 German undergraduate students will spend three weeks at Virginia Tech, taking a Communicating Science course, improving their English, and exploring the university and surrounding environment. 

July 22-August 12

Recent Events

Rising Silo Brewery

2351 Glade Road, Blacksburg

April 24, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

More information here.

Introduction to Improvisation for Scientists workshop for Virginia Tech chemistry undergraduate and graduate students. 

April 20, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Center Director Patty Raun has been invited to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for a residency to lead workshops in communicating across difference, leadership, empathy, and connection.

April 12, 13, 14

What is molecular paleontology?

Presentation by Caitlin Colleary

 5:30-6:30 p.m., April 10, 2017

Improvisational games that help us learn to risk,  fail, and risk again.

"Introduction to ICAT" students

April 10, 2 p.m.

Crab and Lobster Exoskeletons: What Functions Do Minerals Fulfill in Animals?

Presentation by Sebastian Mergelsberg 

5:30-6:30 p.m., March 13, 2017 

Museum of Geosciences, 2062 Derring

5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 2, 2017

Graduate Life Center multi-purpose room

Joe Palca, science correspondent for National Public Radio; Tim Sands, Virginia Tech president; Karen DePauw, Graduate School dean; and Karen Roberto, director of the Institute of Society, Culture, and Environment, and a couple hundred guests helped us celebrate the Center’s opening.

Nutshell Games preparatory workshop

Improvisation for Scientists and Distilling Your Message

5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 28, 2017

New Classroom Building 170

Present your research in 90 seconds!

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 2, 2017

Graduate Life Center multi-purpose room

Communicating Science: The Art of Connecting across Difference

2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, February 27, 2017

Smithfield meeting room at the Skelton Inn.

Communicating Science: The Art of Connecting across Difference

2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, February 22, 2017

8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m., Thursday, February 23, 2017   

Day’s Inn at Blacksburg