Scientist-Community Partnerships

Building Successful Collaborations

Published Apr 12, 2016 Updated Apr 10, 2024

By partnering with communities, scientists have a tremendous opportunity to advance democracy by improving community access to technical information. Communities that have the least access to scientific and technical expertise are often those that most directly bear the burden of environmental and health hazards.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has continued working with a diverse audience of community groups, science organizations, and other interested stakeholders to explore ways to overcome barriers to collaboration and make community/scientist partnerships more effective. The resources below reflect this ongoing learning process.

A toolkit for successful partnerships

To help scientists engage more effectively in their communities, we've put together a 16-page guide that explains some of the benefits and challenges of community partnerships and offers specific advice for finding partnership opportunities, building relationships with community groups, and overcoming barriers to successful collaboration.

Activist Resource

Community Connections

Our Lewis M. Branscomb Forum, "Community Connections," explored new ways for scientists and communities to work together to meet challenges like chemical hazards, climate change impacts, or access to healthy food.

Videos and webinars

UCS has produced a series of videos offering tips and insights for scientists interested in community partnerships:

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