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.

2019 Science Communication Series

Graduate Student Workshop

Wednesday, October 23
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
233B HUB-Robeson Center

Penn State graduate students are invited to learn how to make their research accessible to the media, policymakers, and the public. Learn how to become part of the conversation, including word choice, narrow/broad focuses, and being one small part of a larger topic. This hands-on workshop offers a comprehensive walk-through of COMPASS's most fundamental communication tool.

This year's COMPASS trainers are:

There is no cost to attend, and registration is limited to the first fifty.


Wednesday, October 23
4 - 5:30 
Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center

The plenary is free and open to the public, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the world of journalism. National journalists discuss how the media is changing and what it means for communicating science to the public and policymakers. They will share their personal perspectives on how to get your stories told, what makes a good science story, as well as “dos and don’ts” of dealing with journalists. A Q&A and reception with light refreshments will follow. 

This year's journalists include:

A recording of the event is available:



Thursday, October 24, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, October 25, 8 a.m. - noon
Invitation-only workshop

This 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. 

This year's trainers and journalists include:

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

Request invitation