Talking About How We Talk About Science

Dyer lab members Brooke (right) and Helen (center) attended ComSciConATL with fellow third year Chemistry graduate student Mallory (left) from the Heaven lab

Last week Brooke and Helen attended the first regional ComSciCon held in the southeast, ComSciConATL. ComSciCon is a science communication workshop designed to help graduate students find unique ways to interact with the general public and more effectively communicate their science. During the two day workshop at Georgia Tech, students had the chance to interact with local STEM PhD faculty and invited speakers, learn to incorporate storytelling and humor into their science narratives, network with local science writers and activists, and even sample some cutting-edge data visualization methods. Other benefits included mock interviews, professional editing of writing samples, and a keynote speech by Joe Hanson of PBS’s “It’s Okay to be Smart.

An important theme of the conference was the use of personal stories to help humanize scientists and reach out across a diversity of audiences. Interdisciplinary collaboration and the use of multimedia and social media were all discussed as tools to not only underscore the importance of evidence-based research but also create an accessible conversation with the general public.