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

Please Join Us at the Nutshell Games!

Where can you learn about 30 research projects in 45 minutes? At Virginia Tech's third annual Nutshell Games, to be held at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, October 27, at the Moss Arts Center. 

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Upcoming Events

Michelle Stocker: "Day of the Dead: Fossil Edition"

November 1, 5:30 p.m.

Rising Silo Brewery, 2351 Glade Road, Blacksburg

Mitchell Allen: "Gluing your broken heart back together: How a new peptide recharges the heart’s batteries after a heart attack"

Wednesday, October 17, 5 p.m.

Museum of Geosciences, Derring Hall 2062

Research a la Mode provides a monthly venue for graduate researchers to practice their communication skills and share their research with people outside of their fields--and eat ice cream! Contact Lisa Whalen at if you'd like to be a RALM speaker.

Improvisation for Scientists workshop for graduate students in the  Amanda Morris chemistry lab

Thursday, November 8, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Davidson 225

Presentation and workshop in Communicating Science for annual conference participants

November 29-December 2

San Diego, California

Improvisation for Scientists workshop for graduate students and faculty in the Food and Health Economics Lab

November 30, 10 a.m. to noon

GRAD 5144 Communicating Science students will present short talks about their research 

October 30, 7 p.m. 

Village Center, Warm Hearth

Improvisation for Scientists: Prepare for the Nutshell Games and join us for pizza! 

October 16, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, Moss Arts Center


Please join us for the third annual Nutshell Games! Virginia Tech graduate students will delight you with their 90-second research descriptions.

October 27, 4:30 p.m. 

Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, Moss Arts Center

Free and open to the public.

Recent Events

Presentation: Communicating science: The art of connecting across difference 

Workshop: Improvisation for scientists

August 21-23, Berkeley, CA  

Conference presentation: Building communication and collaboration skills, from the inside out

June 27, Pittsburgh, PA

Introduction to Improvisation for Scientists workshop for visiting faculty, June 25, Graduate Life Center

Center faculty fellow Daniel Bird Tobin facilitated a communicating science workshop for members of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

May 3, Memphis, TN


Erica Feuerbacher: Dog Behavior

September 27, 5:30 p.m.

Debby Good: Is "23andMe" for You? The Promise and Peril of Genetic Testing

August 23, 5:30 p.m.

Tom Ewing: Booze and Flu(s): Science and Spirits in the 1918 Spanish Influenza

July 26, 5:30 p.m.

Brynn O'Donnell and Robin Scully: Ghost Streams and Painting Water

June 28, 5:30 p.m.

Nick Caruso: "Beyond Blaming the Dog: The Science of Animal Farts"

May 24, 5:30 p.m.

William Rhoades and Sid Roy: Lessons from Flint

April 23, 5:30 p.m.

James Wilson:  Honeybees and Beekeeping

March 26, 5:30 p.m.

Brian Malow: "An Evening of Humor with Science Comedian Brian Malow"

February 26, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Kwame Harrison: "Experiencing Blackness in Defiantly White Spaces--in a Car"

January 22, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Jake Socha: "Flying and Gliding: An Evolutionary Advantage"

November 27, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Marcella Kelly's research group: "Catching Carnivores Creatively: Using Poop and Cameras to Capture Clues about Elusive Animals"

October 23, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Abi Tyson: ""Transforming Football Helmet Design" 

September 25, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Marc Stern: "How to Build Trust" 

August 28, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Nutshell Games winners Caitlin Colleary, Anza Mitchell, and Max Ragozzino

May 6, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Rising Silo Brewery, 2351 Glade Road, Blacksburg