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.

For 2020, the series will be focusing on climate change. All of the events will be held virtually.

2020 Science Communication Series

Virtual Faculty Workshop

Session 1—Thurs, Feb 25, 2021
Sessions 2 & 3—March 18 & 19, 2021
Session 4—April 22, 2021

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.

This year's confirmed journalists include:

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

Learn more about workshop

Virtual Graduate Student Workshop

Tuesday and Thursday
October 27 + 29
1 - 3 p.m. each day

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. The workshop will feature special guest Richard Alley and include discussions on climate change. 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.


Virtual Panel Discussion on Climate Change

October 28
3:30 - 4:45 

2020 featured an in-depth climate change discussion with journalists and Penn State experts as they relate their experiences communicating their research with the media and other audiences.

The panel was moderated by Nancy Baron, COMPASS.

This year's participants were:

  • Iliana Baums, professor of biology
  • Kristina Douglass, assistant professor of anthropology
  • David Malakoff, Science Magazine
  • Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science
  • Jessica Myrick, associate professor of media studies

Watch Communicating Climate in a Complex World