Science Communication

Good Science Deserves Good Communication

Each year, the Institutes of Energy and the Environment offers training and resources to help Penn State faculty, researchers, and graduate students to improve their science communication skills. The hope is that Penn Staters can better share their discoveries and results with the public, journalists, policymakers, and beyond.

Most years, IEE partners with COMPASS, an organization that helps scientists effectively share their knowledge in public discourse and decision-making. It provides practical support for scientists to engage without compromising the accuracy of their science.

COMPASS brings together expert facilitators and media professionals who train researchers on the best ways to make their work accessible to larger audiences.

spread knowledge

Communication is very complicated, moreso than most people who don’t study it realize, but it is maybe the most important factor we should consider in the broad realm of science. If we can’t adequately communicate about science to a wide variety of audiences, then society suffers and we can’t fully realize the benefits of scientific discovery.

IEE Cofunded Faculty Member and Professor of Media Studies

Science Communication Series

faculty members in science communication training

Faculty Science Communication Workshop

Dates to be announced
Invitation-only workshop

This virtual invitation-only workshop is intended to help Penn State faculty improve their communication skills with media and non-expert audiences including interdisciplinary proposal reviewers, industry, and foundation sponsors.

Participants will engage in intensive message development, role-play scenarios on their own research topic, and hone communication strategies based on constructive feedback from trainers, journalists, and fellow participants. Registration is limited to twenty.

If you are interested in participating in the future, please let us know. 


Learn about Science Communication Training

graduate students listen to lecture

Graduate Student Science Communication Workshop

Dates to be announced

Penn State graduate students working on energy and environment-related topics are invited to learn how to make their research accessible to any audience. This science communication workshop will help you share what you do, what you know, and—most importantly—why it matters in clear, lively terms. Grounded in the latest research on communication, this training will explore what makes people sit up and pay attention and how to build a meaningful connection with your audience.

All disciplines are welcome. There is no cost to attend, and registration is limited to the first twenty-five. Attendees must be available and participate in both sessions. If an attendee needs to cancel, they must contact IEE immediately.

journalists speaking to crowd

Panel Discussion on Science Communication

Date to be announced

An in-depth discussion among journalists and researchers about the theme chosen for that year. Join us as the panelists relate their experiences communicating their research with the media and other audiences.


The COMPASS workshop quickly helped me assess where my strengths and weaknesses were in communicating my research. The journalists provided helpful techniques for telling a story about my work that would be accessible and interesting to different audiences.

Associate Dean for Research and an Associate Professor of Architecture at Penn State Altoona

The COMPASS workshop drove home the huge potential for scientists to get better at communicating the burning questions and wonder of discovery that we experience as researchers. It is a great privilege to communicate science, and the COMPASS workshop gave me the tools to make tremendous progress in exercising that privilege.

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Kristina Douglass

Former Joyce and Doug Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and Assistant Professor of Anthropology and African Studies