This photo shows a sign that says "Welcome/Today's Activities/7 p.m./Virginia Tech: Communicating Science/Tall Oaks Hall."
The once-a-semester research talks by graduate students are looked forward to by residents at a local retirement community.

“Increasing the visibility of Black people in nature is important," Communicating Science student and ComSciCon-VA Tech 2020 participant Amber Wendler said in an interview for Backpacker Magazine. "It’s important for Black kids to see other people who look like them and know they belong.” Wendler started a Twitter account this spring to communicate her research. Through the Twitter community she helped organize Black Birders Week (May 31-June 6, 2020). Thanks, Amber! 

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Science on Tap's move to an online format in response to the coronavirus pandemic was featured in a May 4, 2020, VT News story. "Science on Tap NRV encourages fun and engaging science-related conversations, and right now our goal is to go full steam ahead as we’ve been doing," said Cassandra Hockman, one of Science on Tap's organizers and a Center for Communicating Science faculty fellow. "I think having and engaging in some form of community is really important right now."

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Ruoding Shi, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Virginia who earned her PhD at Virginia Tech, has published some of the results of her graduate research on American Scientist's Macroscope blog. "Heat, Illness, and Hope in Coal Country" tells in written form a story that Ruoding has shared as a participant in the Nutshell Games, a speaker for Science on Tap, and a student in GRAD 5144, Communicating Science.

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Center director Patricia Raun, Virginia Tech’s Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program, and recent program graduate Ryan Donner are featured in a Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability blog post. Raun helps XMNR students develop some of the same skills that center workshops and courses focus on: “Through much of my work with the students I stress the importance of storytelling and making personal connections with others.”

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ComSciCon-Va Tech 2020 was the subject of the March 9 VT News Daily video, with footage from the February 28 workshops and interviews with organizing commitee co-chair Susan Chen and "Your Research in a Nutshell" workshop co-facilitator Maddy Grupper. 

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VT News coverage of ComSciCon-Va Tech 2020 on March 6 included photos, videos, and a link to session summaries from the workshops, talks, and panels that made up the two days of learning about communicating science. More than 75 graduate and undergraduate students from Virginia Tech and beyond attended.

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Nutshell Games participant and Communicating Science course graduate Brittany Nackley won 2nd place in a competition sponsored by Macmillan Publishers. Her prize-winning essay describes the benefits of working outside one's comfort zone--including getting onstage to talk about one's research!

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VT News coverage of our ComSciCon-Va Tech 2020 keynote speaker Regina Nuzzo invited the campus and wider community to her talk, "Connecting 21st-Century Information to Stone-Age Brains: Numbers, Uncertainty, Surprise, and More," in which she discussed the five landmarks of effective "quant comm": numbers, evidence, uncertainty, surprise, and bringing it all back to the here and now.  The whole talk is available here.

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Last year's ComSciCon-Va Tech featured a writing workshop that led participant Samantha Jo Fried, then a Virginia Tech graduate student, on a journey resulting in an American Scientist story, "How Climate Science Could Lead to Action." Congratulations, Samantha! And thanks for sharing your research and ideas with the wider world.

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“I think people learn, truly learn, on a deep level when they’re able to find a personal connection to research,” said Center for Communicating Science faculty fellow Daniel Bird Tobin in a Yale Climate Connections interview. You may hear it when it airs on one of some 500 radio stations, but if you miss it you can play it at this Yale Climate Connections link.  

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"It is clear that the most urgent challenges facing human civilization are complex and interconnected—they could be thought of as one thing," said Center for Communicating Science director Patricia Raun in her Virginia Tech Graduate School commencement address December 20, 2019. "In order to address this challenge we must destroy the siloes that we've created. . .We must rebuild our abilities to connect, to collaborate, to listen." The entire speech is available here

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Professor of theatre arts and Center for Communicating Science director  Patricia Raun will deliver the keynote speech for the Virginia Tech Graduate School Commencement December 20, 2019. An announcement of commencement speakers, with links to more information about fall commencement ceremonies and celebrations, appeared in the VT News December 2.

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Seniors Reiss Gidner and Elijah Griles were profiled on Virginia Tech's School of Performing Arts website for their projects presented at the Animal and Poultry Science (APSc) Research Symposium fall semester 2019. Both double majors in theatre and APSc, Gidner and Griles focused on connection, relationship building, and communication in their projects, and Gidner collaborated with Center for Communicating Science faculty. Read "From Beaker to Speaker" for more information about their exciting work.

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It's time for the FOURTH Nutshell Games! Thirty courageous and excited graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines will share 90 seconds of their research with a public audience at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at the Moss Arts Center, and this VT News story has lots of the details.

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Can you think of anything funny about climate change? How about the guy who got tired of dog poop in the neighborhood, invented a streetlamp powered by dog poop, and reduced our dependence on fossil fuel with his invention? Yale Climate Connections senior editor Sara Peach's September 2019 visit to campus was heralded by a WVTF interview with Robbie Harris. Peach was hosted by the Center for Communicating Science and other campus groups.

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Virginia Tech undergraduate student Taylan Tunckanat, who participated in our summer researcher communicating science pilot project, gave the Center for Communicating Science a nice shout-out in a research profile written by Fralin Life Science Institute communications assistant Kendall Daniels, published in the VT News August 27, 2019.

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"Communicating Across Disciplines: New Approaches for Applied Sciences" was the theme of the 2019 German Fulbright Summer Institute, our third year of a collaboration with Cranwell International Center. Some of the experiences of the 20 German undergraduate students who spent from July 26 through August 18 with us are captured in this VT News story.

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A grant awarded to the center by the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) through its Undergraduate Research Faculty Grant Program was described in a VT News story June 21, 2019. The grant program, aimed at increasing student access to research opportunities, is providing us with the opportunity to develop a set of communicating science workshops for undergraduate summer researchers. 

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Our work to provide a set of communicating science workshops for summer undergraduate researchers was included in a June 17, 2019, VT News story about the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program at the Fralin Life Sciences Institute. The twenty SURF students, plus four students participating in bio-computational summer research and four undergraduate student peer mentors for the SURF program, are all participating in the communicating science workshops. 

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Center director Patty Raun and associate director Carrie Kroehler were presented the Alumni Award for Excellence in Team Outreach at the 2019 Faculty/Staff Awards event May 2. That team includes the center's steering committee, advisory board, faculty fellows, student interns, all the graduate students who have taken GRAD 5144 and participated in workshops, and many more collaborators.

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On March 12, 2019, center director Patty Raun facilitated a 4-hour workshop at the Entomological Society of America's Eastern Branch conference. Interested in her family connections to the study of insects--her father was an entomologist--Patty's contact with the ESA asked if he could talk to her about the work of the center. The resulting interview, "Why Empathy, Connection, and Confidence Are Critical for Science Communication," was published in Entomology Today.  

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The first-ever ComSciCon-Virginia Tech was held March 7 and 8, 2019. Organized by graduate students for graduate students, the event attracted nearly 70 registrants, allowed us to connect with University Libraries and the Center for Humanities, and provided lots of opportunities for participants to learn to communicate their research. VT News coverage included a video interview with event organizer Allison Hutchison. 

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2018 Nutshell Games winners Maddy Grupper, Susan Chen, and Brenen Wynd appeared in the VT News December 5: "Three graduate students take top prizes at the 2018 Nutshell Games." Congratulations to all our contestants and many thanks to our judges and audience! 

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An October 2018 VT News Daily preview story about the Nutshell Games--90-second research talks-- focused on the workshop that Center for Communicating Science faculty hosted for contestants.  “The boiling it down part is hard,” said workshop participant Allison Hutchison. “When I start to talk about my research, I get excited about it!”

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Roanoke Times reporter Robby Korth joined us at Rising Silo Brewery September 27, 2018, for our Science on Tap event featuring Erica Feuerbacher and her pal Iorek (let's be honest: Iorek was the star of the show!). Robby's story about Science on Tap appeared in the New River Valley section of the Roanoke Times Sunday, September 30. 

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The German Fulbright Summer Institute 2018, a collaboration among the Center for Communicating Science, the Cranwell International Center, and others at Virginia Tech, brought 24 students to campus to participate in "Communicating Science: Communication, Collaboration, and Connection Across Differences and Disciplines." The VT News Daily Video August 9 caught the students at one of their co-curricular site visits.  

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The August 2, 2018, VT News Daily Video was "The art of connecting across difference," a video featuring GRAD 5144, the graduate course in communicating science developed by Center for Communicating Science director Patty Raun. "Everyone should take this class!" says student Sara Harrell. 

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Center for Communicating Science faculty facilitated a workshop for faculty visiting from Ecuador's Universidad San Francisco de Quito, part of a week-long 21st Century Faculty Initiative based on the Graduate School's Transformative Graduate Education Initiative. 

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"Earth's Premier Science Comedian" Brian Malow's visit to Virginia Tech was heralded by VT News and the Roanoke Times. Follow-up coverage of the panel discussion he moderated, "The Role of the University in an Era of Science Skepticism and 'Fake News,'" appeared in the Virginia section of the Roanoke Times

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Our 2018 spring workshop series, featuring weekly workshops on a variety of topics and with seven workshop facilitators helping lead them, was announced through VT News.

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The second annual Nutshell Games, held in conjunction with the Virginia Tech Science Festival, got advance coverage from VT News. Nutshell Games competitor Carrie Jensen's talk on Appalachian headwaters was picked up for the December 4, 2017, episode of Virginia Water Radio.

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A three-week German Fulbright Summer Institute, hosted by the Cranwell International Center, provided 24 German undergraduate students with academic coursework from the Center for Communicating Science and from the Language and Culture Institute. VT News photos, video, and story are available here and a Virginia Public Radio story here.

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Nutshell Games contestant Max Ragozzino's talk on ash trees and the emerald ash borer appeared on the July 10, 2017, episode of Virginia Water Radio; you can listen to the full episode here.

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Twenty-eight graduate students gave 90-second research talks March 2 in the first annual Nutshell Games, the highlight of our center-opening celebration. Roanoke Times coverage of the event can be found here

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University relations coverage in advance of our center-opening events March 2, 2017, can be found here.

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Fifteen faculty members from Ecuador’s Universidad San Francisco de Quito engaged in theater improvisation exercises with us in July of 2016 as part of the 21st Century Faculty Initiative, a joint venture between the Graduate School and Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). You can read more about the experience here.

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In the spring of 2015, Graduate School communications manager Cathy Grimes visited our Communicating Science graduate class, observed, talked to students, and wrote a Virginia Tech news story, which you can read here.

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In the fall of 2015 Kendall Livick, from the Office of International Research, Education, and Development (OIRED), visited the Communicating Science graduate course to participate and learn more about the approach. She reported on her experience in a OIRED blog post.

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Fralin Life Science Institute communications correspondent Cassandra Hockman attended the 2015 summer institute at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. You can read about her experience here.

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In the fall of 2015, trainers from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science visited Virginia Tech's campus to conduct a workshop for Global Change Center graduate students. You can read about the workshop here.

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