Center for Communicating Science Resources

You may find the following resources, gathered for use in GRAD 5144, to be useful: 

Virginia Tech Resources

Writing and speaking help is available elsewhere on campus:

The Tech Writing Center is a free writing assistance service for students, faculty, and staff at Virginia Tech. Find details here.

Graduate and undergraduate students at the Virginia Tech CommLab are available to help students with public speaking. For more information, click here.

Departments across Virginia Tech offer a wide variety of graduate courses related to communicating within specific professions, including grant writing, scholarly writing and presenting, and more. For a complete list, click the download below (and please let us know if you know of courses we should add to the list!). 

External Resources

There's lots of help available beyond Virginia Tech:

National Public Radio science correspondent Joe Palca and assistant producer Madeline Sofia are working to connect young scientists and people passionate about science communication. Maddie explains the project:

We have a worldwide community of over 150 people that we're calling "Friends of Joe's Big Idea" (FOJBIs). The purpose of the community is to connect like-minded people and share experiences about what does and doesn’t work in the growing field of science communication. These young communicators bring science to diverse audiences through writings, science-related social events, blogs, podcasts, and other assorted media. 

Primarily we serve to:

1.     Connect young communicators via email, facebook, and a geographical map that allows you to see where the other FOJBIs are and what they are doing. This map also includes places that host science events (such as Science on Tap) and how to contact the representative

2.     Share pieces of good science communication we see via Joe’s Big Idea Facebook Page

3.     Help young communicators get started in the field. In the future, we will have online “office hours” where FOJBIs can come to Joe for advice and help with new projects

4.     Share information about career opportunities we come by

5.     Promote the original content of our FOJBIs. This is a great place to reach a larger audience outside of your own personal network

 

You can read more about Maddie and her "Friends of Joe's Big Idea" project here.

You can find more information about Joe's Big Idea here.

You can contact Madeline Sofia if you'd like to learn more about becoming a FOJBI: MSofia@npr.org

The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University trains scientists and health professionals to communicate more effectively with the public, public officials, the media, and others outside their disciplines. For more about exciting work at the AACCS, click here.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have created a tool to help people develop and assess public communication materials. The CDC Clear Communication Index is available here.

To help translate science into "plain language," the Centers for Disease Control have made available a guide titled Everyday Words for Public Health Communication, which is available here.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science provides a "communication toolkit," available here.

The National Science Foundation has resources for communicating with the general public here.

The National Science Foundation explains its multimedia features to showcase research in this 2015 press release

This is the Center's logo

"Don’t think you need to teach the public a lot of science facts. Instead, show what science is, what it means, why we need it. Find a way to have a presence. Choose what to comment on, how to be involved, and what actions and issues to engage in. Be a source of wisdom."  – Carl Safina

"View your reader as a companionable friend -- someone with a warm sense of humor and a love of simple directness. Write like you're actually talking to that friend, but talking with enough leisure to frame your thoughts concisely and interestingly."

-- John R. Trimble, Writing with Style

"Display of superior knowledge is as great a vulgarity as display of superior wealth—greater indeed, inasmuch as knowledge should tend more definitely than wealth towards discretion and good manners."  -- Henry Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage