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Making Science Communication Training More Widely Available and Practical

Join an upcoming webinar hosted by IARPC to learn about future online science communication training opportunities

Over the past several years, a growing public enthusiasm for science communication has sparked an interest in adding this useful skill to the scientist’s toolbelt. Most conferences now offer a science communication workshop as part of the pre-programming, and some universities even offer full-length courses. While these opportunities bring science communication training to more researchers, training access is still limited by institutional affiliation, geography, and financial ability. One day workshops are useful for acquiring basic skills, but to develop proficiency, reinforcement through repetition is needed as well as practical applications. Workshop training does not often give students the opportunity to practice the skills they’ve learned in a real-world setting. Yet, putting these new skills into practice is the best way to make a real-world impact through science communication.

The U.S. Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) aims to catalyze and support interdisciplinary communication and collaboration among Arctic researchers, specifically. We recognize that forming these collaborations requires clear, interdisciplinary communication. Because each scientific discipline uses its own standards and vocabulary, cross-disciplinary communication is similar to communicating with non-scientists. Discipline-specific concepts and jargon need to be defined when speaking to a more diverse audience.

To build the communication capacity and collaborative potential of the next generation of Arctic researchers, IARPC Collaborations has offered in the past and will be offering again this year a free online training program for early career scientists. Like our open collaboration teams, meetings, and website, this online program is accessible to international participants. Over the course of eight weeks, you’ll gain the tools and skills to effectively communicate your research to scientists in other disciplines and with the public.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Storytelling – why storytelling is the most effective way to engage your audience and how this approach is used effectively by renowned scientists

  • Audience consideration – how to identify what your audience will find most interesting and valuable to learn about your work and how to ensure your presentation resonates with their worldview

  • Distilling complex information – how to distinguish essential concepts and details from the ones your audience doesn’t need to learn; how to present this information clearly and concisely

  • Data visualization – how to separate essential data from “chart junk,” using color, shapes, and scale to clearly and simply communicate your message

  • Slide design – basic design principles, visual communication, balancing text on slides with words said aloud

For the culmination of this course, each student produces a lightning talk on their research designed for an interdisciplinary polar research audience – the chance to put your new skills into practice and form new collaborations. These lightning talks will take place as part of a public webinar hosted by IARPC and are open to anyone but targeted to those interested in pursuing cross-disciplinary networking and learning how to communicate more effectively in interdisciplinary environments.

To see examples of effective science communication in action while learning more about future science communication training opportunities join an IARPC webinar on May 22, 2018, 12 PM Eastern Time / 1600 UTC. There are also opportunities through IARPC Collaborations’ new science communication forum to network, connect to other science communicators, and be notified of future opportunities through IARPC. Instructions on how to join the webinar are available at

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