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."
Regina Nuzzo to Keynote ComSciCon-Va Tech 2020
Statistician and journalist Regina Nuzzo will serve as keynote speaker for ComSciCon-Va Tech 2020, delivering her talk, "Connecting 21st-Century Information to Stone-Age Brains: Numbers, Uncertainty, Surprise, and More," Thursday evening, February 27, in the Fralin Auditorium. Please join us at 5:30 p.m. in the Fralin Atrium for a reception followed by Nuzzo’s talk at 6:30 p.m.
Statistician and journalist Regina Nuzzo will be our February Science on Tap speaker as well as keynote speaker for ComSciCon-Va Tech 2020: "Connecting 21st-Century Information to Stone-Age Brains: Numbers, Uncertainty, Surprise, and More."
Please join us for a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Fralin Hall Atrium, to be followed by Dr. Nuzzo's talk at 6:30.
6:30 p.m. February 27
Fralin Hall Auditorium
Dr. Cassandra Quave, Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Human Health at Emory University and Curator of the Emory University Herbarium, will share her research on centuries-old knowledge and modern-day health care.
12:20 p.m., Friday, February 21
Life Science Seminar Series
Statistician and journalist Regina Nuzzo will be keynote speaker for ComSciCon-Va Tech 2020. Join us at 5:30 p.m. in the Fralin Hall Atrium for a reception, to be followed by Dr. Nuzzo's talk at 6:30.
6:30 p.m. February 27
Fralin Hall Auditorium
ComSciCon-Virginia Tech 2020, planned and organized for graduate students by graduate students, will be held February 27 and 28. and will include a keynote speaker, workshops, panels, pop talks, a write-a-thon, and more! ComSciCon applications are open January 13-February 3. There is no cost or fee for student applicants, but ComSciCon participants will be selected through a competitive application process for a limited number of spots. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Friday. Apply here!
Please contact Stephanie Edwards Compton (email@example.com) or Susan Chen (firstname.lastname@example.org) to volunteer or for more information.
Science Stories: Join fellow science fans and scientists at this participatory storytelling session. Open to all levels of experience--in storytelling or in science. Science touches everyone’s life in some way. How has it touched yours?
Merryman Family Learning Studio
Moss Arts Center
March 24, 5:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public; please register here.
Explore the value of playful improvisation and serious games to help you establish more confident, more productive, and more effective connections with all of your collaborators at work and in life.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 23
Virginia Tech Roanoke Center, 108 N. Jefferson St., Roanoke
For more information and registration, click here.
Research a la Mode is a seminar series started by a graduate student and now in need of a new graduate student facilitator!
A monthly venue for graduate students from different departments to come together and hear a talk by one of their peers, Research a la Mode gives graduate students an opportunity to practice communicating their research to an audience that is unfamiliar with their discipline. The experience helps them reduce reliance on technical jargon and simplify and clarify their presentations. RALM aims to help graduate students become better teachers, researchers, and communicators.
RALM founder Lisa Whalen is happy to provide information about how to run the program. Contact her at email@example.com if you'd like to lead this project.
Center for Communicating Science director Patty Raun, associate director Carrie Kroehler, and faculty fellow Daniel Bird Tobin provided a two-day Communicating Science Intensive for NatureNet Fellows and other Nature Conservancy scientists at the annual NatureNet Science Fellows meeting and research symposium
October 22 and 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Center for Communicating Science director Patty Raun and associate director Carrie Kroehler provided a half-day "Distilling Your Message" workshop for members of the Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers
October 10, 2019
National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, West Virginia
Center for Communicating Science director Patty Raun gave the keynote address, "Let Your Life Speak: The Art of Connecting Across Difference," at the Voice and Speech Trainers Association annual conference
August 4-7, 2019
At CESTEMER 2019, The Power of Connection: Performance, play, and creativity, Center for Communicating Science faculty contributed in a number of ways:
Associate director Carrie Kroehler facilitated an interactive workshop, "Who, what, when, where, how, and why, why, why? Exercises for distilling your message"
Faculty fellow Cassandra Hockman gave a lightning talk, "Scientists and writers: How a university collaboration (and beyond) shows they're good friends"
Faculty fellow Daniel Bird Tobin performed "Laser"
Todd Nicewonger, Patty Raun, and Carrie Kroehler presented "Communicating Science: An ethnographic study"
New York Institute of Technology, New York City
June 20-22, 2019
Center for Communicating Science associate director Carrie Kroehler provided an "Introduction to Improvisation for Scientists" workshop for faculty and scholars visiting from Universidad San Francisco de Quito
June 12, 2019
Center for Communicating Science director Patty Raun provided the keynote address and engagement: "What's in a Nutshell? Brief Compelling Interactions with the Public" for BioXFEL 2019 (a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center international conference)
San Diego, California
February 12, 2019
Grace Davis and Stephanie Edwards Compton: Cancer: A Traveling Ecosystem
January 23, 2020
Ruoding Shi: Understanding Differences in Respiratory Health in Coal-Mining Counties
November 14, 2019
Celebrating Women in Science! Members of the local Blacksburg-Radford pod of 500 Women Scientists gave flash talks about their current research.
October 24, 2019
Sara Peach: What to Expect When You're Expecting Climate Change
September 26, 2019
Maddy Grupper: Public Trust in Drinking Water
August 22, 2019
Carol Davis: "Individual actions or systemic change?"--Thoughts about creating a more sustainable world.
July 25, 2019
Derek Hennen: Millipedes of Virginia
June 27, 2019
Susan Chen: Let's Talk Trash: Why Food Waste Matters
April 25, 2019
James Costa: Darwin's Backyard "Experimentising"
March 25, 2019
Brenen Wynd: "Almost all my friends are dead": What does paleontology tell us about extinction?
February 25, 2019
Sihui Ma: The Science of Fermented Drinks
January 28, 2019
Rajesh Bagchi: What's the Better Deal? The Science of Purchasing Decisions
November 26, 2018.
Michelle Stocker: Detectives at Work--The Case of the Embedded Tooth
November 1, 2018
Erica Feuerbacher: Dog Behavior
September 27, 2018
Debby Good: Is "23andMe" for You? The Promise and Peril of Genetic Testing
August 23, 2018
Tom Ewing: Booze and Flu(s): Science and Spirits in the 1918 Spanish Influenza
July 26, 2018
Brynn O'Donnell and Robin Scully: Ghost Streams and Painting Water
June 28, 2018
Nick Caruso: "Beyond Blaming the Dog: The Science of Animal Farts"
May 24, 2018
William Rhoades and Sid Roy: Lessons from Flint
April 23, 2018
James Wilson: Honeybees and Beekeeping
March 26, 2018
Brian Malow: "An Evening of Humor with Science Comedian Brian Malow"
February 26, 2018
Kwame Harrison: "Experiencing Blackness in Defiantly White Spaces--in a Car"
January 22, 2018
Jake Socha: "Flying and Gliding: An Evolutionary Advantage"
November 27, 2017
Marcella Kelly's research group: "Catching Carnivores Creatively: Using Poop and Cameras to Capture Clues about Elusive Animals"
October 23, 2017
Abi Tyson: ""Transforming Football Helmet Design"
September 25, 2017
Marc Stern: "How to Build Trust"
August 28, 2017
Nutshell Games winners Caitlin Colleary, Anza Mitchell, and Max Ragozzino
May 6, 2017
William Hopkins: Hellbenders in the New River
April 24, 2017