"The Best Conference I’ve Ever Been to": A Case Study in Science Communication Training

Author(s): Anna Schneider

Year: 2017


In 2013, a group of Harvard graduate students launched ComSciCon—a science communication workshop for graduate students—with the goal of empowering young scientists to share research in their field with broad and diverse audiences. Each year since, 50 graduate students have come together every summer to spend three days undergoing intensive science communication training, interacting with expert panelists, and composing original pieces for publication. This paper provides an overview of ComSciCon and its science communication training efforts, including improvisation sessions, K-12 curriculum development, mock interviews, and pitch slams. A series of follow-up surveys have demonstrated that ComSciCon has a lasting longitudinal impact on alumni; namely, attendees gain confidence in their science communication skills, engage in more public outreach, and submit more articles to popular science publications. While ComSciCon is geared toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) graduate students in general, the ComSciCon model is also applicable to communication and outreach training in archaeology. By learning from the success of ComSciCon, we can better equip archaeologists to communicate their research to the public.

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"The Best Conference I’ve Ever Been to": A Case Study in Science Communication Training. Anna Schneider. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429294)

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Abstract Id(s): 16370