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

Science Writing Collaboration Provides Experience to Undergrads, Grads

A collaboration this spring provided the opportunity for undergraduate writing students to conduct interviews of researchers and for graduate student researchers to be interviewed one-on-one and in a video recording studio.
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Upcoming Events

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

August 23, 5:30 p.m.

Rising Silo Brewery, 2351 Glade Road, Blacksburg

Research a la Mode organizer Lisa Whalen is lining up presenters for fall semester. 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. Contact Lisa at if you'd like to take advantage of this great opportunity!

"Learning to Listen and Listening to Learn"

August 21, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.

Moss Arts Center

Improvisation for Scientists workshop for directors, faculty, and post-docs from across the United States

August 21-23

Berkeley, California

Presentation and workshop in Communicating Science for annual conference participants

November 29-December 2

San Diego, California

Recent Events

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

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

Communicating Science graduate student Ellen Garcia facilitated an "improv for scientists" workshop for young researchers at the Mid-Atlantic Mitosis meetings.

early April, Bethesda, MD

Center faculty fellows offered workshops nearly every Wednesday evening during spring semester on topics including writing for a public audience, elements of design, storytelling with data, tweeting your research, and more.