The Science Network Workshop Series

Communication and advocacy trainings for scientists

Please join the Science Network for one of the workshops listed below. These sessions are part of a series offered to Science Network members to provide training opportunities to strengthen your communication and advocacy skills. There are three different levels of workshops that might appeal to you: introductory (101), advanced (202), and early career scientist (ECS).


Upcoming Workshops

Scientist Harassment: Stories and Strategies for Fighting Back

At a time when science is becoming more politicized, even issues that were not controversial in the past have received heightened attention from science deniers. On the other hand, many scientists also have identified problems with discrimination or harassment in the workplace—especially women, minorities, and LGBTQ scientists. These experiences can be intimidating and frustrating. But there are strategies that you can use to guide your responses to these kinds of attacks. Our presenters will speak to these issues from their own experiences, and describe ways to prepare for scrutiny and encourage the development of safe spaces in your workplace.

Date: Monday, September 19
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

RSVP Today

 


 

Future Workshops 

 

Identifying Science Policy Leadership Opportunities to Boost Your CV (October 2016)

Opportunities for Science Policy under the New Presidential Administration (November 2016)

Creating Visually Appealing Scientific Presentations (January 2017)

Integrating Social Justice into Your Research (February 2017) 


On-Demand Workshops

Science Communication

  • Talking Up without Talking Down

    Conveying scientific concepts to nonscientific audiences requires a different language, and different communication techniques. This webinar will allow you to hear from a group of science professionals that have, in very different settings, presented science in an engaging and convincing manner--from the offices of Capitol Hill, to the stage, to a high school classroom.

    Presenters: Liz Neeley, Executive Director, Story Collider; Yogin Kothari, Washington Representative, Union of Concerned Scientists; Andrea Basche, Kendell Science Fellow, Union of Concerned Scientists. First aired June 25, 2016.


  • From Aristotle to South Park: The ABT Framework as a New Tool for Science Communication

    Scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson discusses his “And, But, Therefore” template (the ABT) for creating a narrative. He shows how he has expanded it into The Narrative Spectrum, presents examples of it working with scientists, and talks about the universal importance of narrative structure.

    Presenter: Randy Olson, marine biologist-turned-filmmaker, author of Houston, We Have a Narrative; moderator: Aaron Huertas, Senior Washington Director at Cater Communications. First aired December 1, 2015.


  • Not Just Another Powerpoint: Best Practices to Bring Your Presentation to Life

    One of the best ways to use your expertise to make an impact on the policy making process is to give expert testimony or comments. Our presenters cover how to prepare and give testimony at the state and local levels for hearings, and how to prepare for and participate in public comment periods.

    Presenters: Andrew Gunther, Executive Director, Center for Ecosystem Management & Restoration; Marcia DeLonge, Agroecologist, Union of Concerned Scientists. First aired July 23, 2015.

    Additional resources: Not Just Another Powerpoint: More Tips to Bring Presentations to Life


  • The Story Behind the Scientist

    Whether it’s talking about your research, pitching an idea for a project or grant, or just talking to family and friends about what you do, it’s important to craft a story about your work or your research. This workshop provides strategies for storytelling and resources on communicating important ideas in a story framework.

    Presenters: Seth Shulman, Editorial Director at Union of Concerned Scientists; Casey DeMoss, CEO of Alliance for Affordable Energy; Eric Michelman, Director of More Than Scientists. First aired May 19, 2015.


  • Pushing Back Against Misinformation

    This workshop is filled with science communication tips on how to engage on contentious issues, how to frame your arguments so they aren’t reinforcing myths, and how to push through the cacophony so the truth can be heard.

    Presenters: Aaron Huertas, Press Secretary, UCS; Scott Mandia, co-founder Climate Science Rapid Response team and Climate Science Legal Defense Fund; Dave Anderson, Outreach Coordinator, Climate & Energy, UCS. First aired March 26, 2015.


  • Social Media for Scientists: Science Communication for the Web

    For scientists, engineers, and other experts, there are many benefits to using social media, including sharing your research with new audiences, building relationships with others who share your interests, and creating a network of others you can reach out to with questions or to bounce ideas off of. Our presenters will share stories about how engaging online has helped them professionally, and offer tips to help get you started.

    Presenters: Katy Love, Online & New Media Manager, UCS; Ray Dearborn, Campaign Lab Director at Upwell; Liz Neeley, Assistant Director of Science Outreach, COMPASS; Matthew Francis, Science Writer and Director of CosmoAcademy. First aired November 5, 2014.


  • Your Elevator Pitch

    From the traditional elevator pitch to quick phone calls with policy makers, scientists must be able to represent their work and its importance in a quick yet impactful way. This workshop arms scientists with the skills to have effective short conversations with a number of different types of audiences.

    Presenters: Sean Meyer, Nuclear Safety Campaign Manager, UCS; Edward Parson, UCS National Advisory Board and Science Network member, and Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law; Jalonne White-Newsome, a federal policy analyst at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. First aired May 29, 2014.


  • Communicating with Confidence: How to deal with uncertainty

    This workshop addresses how to deal with uncertainty on scientific issues. It covers how to approach and prepare for conversations about complicated issues with the media, the public, and policy makers. Our presenters show how viewers can develop their ability to frame conversations to the information they are confident in and to address uncertainty in a constructive and informative way.

    Presenters: Brenda Ekwurzel, Senior Climate Scientist, UCS; Aaron Huertas, Press Secretary, UCS; Knute Nadelhoffer, UCS Science Network member, and Professor of Ecosystem Ecology, University of Michigan. First aired February 5, 2014.


  • Communicating Science Amid Confusion and Uncertainty

    This workshop builds off of the presenters’ experiences with difficult questions from the media, government officials, and the public. Viewers will benefit from the techniques and tools this workshop will provide to stay on topic and handle uncertainty when asked challenging questions.

    Presenters: Aaron Huertas, Press Secretary, UCS; Lisa Nurnberger, Press Secretary, UCS; Nick Schroeck, UCS Science Network member, and Executive Director, Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. First aired September 17, 2013.


Informing Policy and Influencing Decision Makers

  • The Role of Scientists and Engineers on Advisory Committees

    Scientists and technical experts from all occupational backgrounds have valuable expertise to provide to advisory committees on the local, state, and federal level. This webinar gives an overview of what advisory committees are, how to be nominated for one, and how these committees influence policy and regulations.

    Presenters: Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists; Dr. Richard Ezike, transportation fellow at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. First aired March 8, 2016.


  • Testifying in Public Comment Periods and Local Hearings

    One of the best ways to use your expertise to make an impact on the policy making process is to give expert testimony or comments. Our presenters cover how to prepare and give testimony at the state and local levels for hearings, and how to prepare for and participate in public comment periods.

    Presenters: Steve Frenkel, Midwest Office Director and energy policy expert, UCS; Adam Rosenberg, Democratic Staff Director, Energy Subcommittee, U.S. House of Representatives;  Jeremy Richardson, Senior Energy Analyst, UCS. First aired October 16, 2014.


  • Science and Policy Change: Using Your Expertise to Influence the Policy-Making Process

    This webinar is a guide for scientists and other experts who are interested in learning how they can use their expertise to make an impact on the policy process at the local, state, or national level. We cover an approach to the theory of social change as it relates to the policy process, what it takes to create policy opportunities and how to identify them, strategies for working with coalitions, and advice on how to be a resource for decision makers.

    Presenters: Kate Cell, Senior Outreach Coordinator, UCS Climate and Energy Program; Dr. Dave Cooke, Vehicles Analyst, UCS Clean Vehicles Program; Dr. Daniel Pomeroy, AGU Congressional Science Fellow, Office of Senator Edward Markey. First aired September 10, 2014.


  • "Following the Rules": How to Understand and Influence the Regulatory Process

    This is an overview of how to navigate the regulatory process—from the initial proposal of rules or legislation to their implementation—and the opportunities at each stage for scientists to use their expertise to ensure that policies are scientifically sound and actually protect public health and safety.

    Presenters: Felicia Marcus, UCS National Advisory Board member, and Board Chair, State Water Resources Control Board, California Environmental Protection Agency; Andrew Rosenberg, Director, The Center for Science and Democracy at UCS; Michelle Robinson, Director, Clean Vehicles Program, UCS. First aired May 21, 2014.


  • Tips and Tricks for Communicating with Policy Makers

    This workshop examines best practices for working with policy makers at all levels and covers how experts and policy makers can collaborate to constructively effect policy development and implementation.

    Presenters: Sean Meyer, Nuclear Safety Campaign Manager, UCS; Rob Cowin, Senior Washington Representative, UCS Climate & Energy Program; Christopher Boniface, UCS National Advisory Board member, and molecular biologist. First aired November 21, 2013.


  • Advocacy for the Aware but Busy Expert

    This workshop details some of the opportunities available to scientists who are interested in starting to engage in, or deepening their involvement with, the policy process. The presenters explore different levels of engagement—ranging from testifying before governmental bodies to writing op-eds—and the time and resource commitments they require.

    Presenters: Michael Halpern, Program Manager, The Center for Science and Democracy at UCS; Peter Frumhoff, Director of Science & Policy, UCS. First aired September 30, 2013.


Talking with the Media

  • Scientists and the Media: Op-eds, LTEs, and Working with Journalists

    Sharing information about new discoveries and correcting misinformation are two important ways scientists can work with journalists and ensure science is being accurately portrayed in the media. This workshop details how to build relationships with journalists to have a better understanding of what they’re looking for, what is likely to be published, and how to provide useful background information and quotes on scientific topics.

    Presenters:  Neela Banerjee, Senior Correspondent, Inside Climate News; Seth Michaels, Communications Officer, UCS. First aired January 21, 2016.


  • Rapid Response Ready: Preparing for Media Opportunities

    On this webinar you’ll learn how to identify when rapid response opportunities in the media are imminent, how to be a source for reporters and the media, and how you can bring science back to the forefront of breaking news.

    Presenters: Aaron Huertas, Science Communications Officer, UCS; Jeff Nesbit, executive director at Climate Nexus, and Dave Robinson, state climatologist of New Jersey. First aired March 11, 2015.


  • Communicating in Your Own Words: How to talk to the media and the public about science

    In this webinar our presenters discuss when to use different types of written communication to make the biggest impact, and share science communication stories from scientists who have mastered the media interview.

    Presenters: Aaron Huertas, Science Communications Officer, UCS; Dana Nuccitelli, environmental scientist and climate blogger at Skeptical Science. First aired October 29, 2014.


  • Getting Science Right in the Media

    This workshop is intended to help scientists develop quick and appropriate responses to different representations and misrepresentations of scientific evidence in the media. This will be most useful to scientists who have working relationships with media sources and work on controversial topics that are often conveyed incorrectly in the media.

    Presenters: Aaron Huertas, Press Secretary, UCS; James Shapiro, UCS National Advisory Board and Science Network member, and Professor of Bacterial Genetics and Microbiology, University of Chicago. First aired December 4, 2013.


  • A Scientist's Guide to the Media

    Click to view webinar

    This is an introduction to how scientists can capture the most important aspects of their work in coherent and concise interactions with the media. Presenters share two templates for preparing for interacting with the media: one for representing new research findings to the press and another for sharing scientific findings and suggesting specific actions people and institutions should take in response.

    Presenters: Brenda Ekwurzel, Senior Climate Scientist, UCS; Aaron Huertas, Press Secretary, UCS. First aired September 19, 2013.


Public Engagement and Working with Communities

  • Hear Me Out: Making Meaningful Connections through Storytelling 

    This webinar is a deeper look at ways to communicate the scientific experience and research to different audiences. Presenters give tips on how to actively invite, listen to, and support others' stories and experiences.

    Presenters: Dr. Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer, Vice-director, Ciencia Puerto Rico and Program Manager, iBiology and Michele Roberts, National Co-Coordinator of Environmental Justice and Health Alliance. First aired June 29, 2015.

    Additional resources: Resources on Storytelling to Make Meaningful Connections.


  • Step Out of the Silo: Science through a Community and Social Justice Lens

    As scientists and technical experts, you have a unique opportunity to help shape innovative solutions to the problems we face today. This webinar discusses why understanding the historical and social context of communities is essential for shaping interdisciplinary research questions and communicating the relevance and impact of scientific initiatives.

    Presenters: Sam Grant, Co-founder of Afro Eco; Juan Reynosa, Field Organizer for Southwest Organizing Project; Sharyle Patton, Director of Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center;  moderator: Judy Robinson, Executive Director of Coming Clean. First aired June 23, 2015.

    Additional resources: Practice Questions for Scientist-Community Connections (pdf)
    Slides from "Step Out of the Silo" (pdf)


  • Reaching Out to Local Communities: How to engage with local stakeholders

    This workshop specifically focuses on how scientists can engage with stakeholders to develop their research in a way that is most relevant and useful to the public. If scientists can incorporate the interests of stakeholders and the public into their research, their work can better inform people’s decisions as well as public policy.

    Presenters: Don Wuebbles, UCS National Advisory Board and Science Network member, and Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Illinois; Joe Uehlein, UCS National Advisory Board member, and Founding President and Executive Director, Voices for a Sustainable Future and the Labor Network for Sustainability; facilitator: Lisa Nurnberger, Press Secretary, UCS. First aired February 27, 2014.


Early Career Scientist Webinars

  • So, What Do You Do, Exactly? How to talk about the value of your research

    Scientists are often asked about their work, but what people are often asking is how their work matters to the broader public. This workshop covers science communication tools that can help navigate how to talk about science and research to public audiences.

    Presenters: Tom Di Liberto, Meteorologist, Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Kellen Marshall, PhD candidate at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. First aired November 17, 2015.


  • So You Want to Work in Science Policy?

    This workshop is geared toward early-career scientists interested in a non-traditional science career at the nexus of science and policy. Issues discussed include how to identify opportunities for advancement via the successful use of advocacy activities and places to look for leadership opportunities.

    Presenters: Andrew Rosenberg, Director, The Center for Science and Democracy at UCS; Emily Boniface, student of epidemiology and UCS National Advisory Board member, Christopher Boniface, molecular biologist and UCS National Advisory Board member. First aired September 25, 2014.


  • Finding the Unconventional Career

    Early-career scientists have the exciting opportunity to pursue non-traditional careers that connect science and advocacy. This workshop will explore the value of scientific training in the policy process, the options available, and the routes for navigating potential career paths. These strategies will be particularly relevant to early-career scientists who are interested in careers at the nexus of science and policy, so they can begin to develop a sense of where they would be effective advocates and how to get there.

    Presenters: Gretchen Goldman, analyst in the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS; Laura Grego, senior scientist in the Global Security Program at UCS. First aired December 5, 2013.


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