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Whether you want to learn how to talk about your research in a manner that is accessible and inspiring for the public, or you just want to brush up on your science communications skills, resources abound in Austin and beyond.

*** If you are a CNS researcher with news to share about an upcoming scientific publication, award or event, please be sure also to alert the communications team with this form and check out our media-relations guide. ***

Community

Groups where science communicators can find support in communities of like-minded colleagues.

  • UT Sciences Toastmasters

    A club where people gather to gain experiences in public speaking and leadership in a fun and encouraging environment.

  • Performance Training for Instructors

    This professional development course especially for UT Austin faculty is co-led by Natural Sciences assistant dean Jen Moon. With a focus on improving communications in the classroom, the content is also relevant for improving science communication more broadly. Learn more here.
  • AAAS Virtual Science Engagement

    An archive of webinars around strategic issues in science communications can be found here. From serving underserved audiences to working with funders, lots of great content here.
  • Friends of Joe's Big Idea (FOJBIs)

    A community of young scientists, started by NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca, that includes undergrads, graduate students, post docs and faculty interested in improving their science communication skills.
  • Massive Sci

    A community built specifically with the science-curious in mind, with science stories written by actual scientists, as well as training opportunities.
  • Trellis Groups for Public Engagement and Science

    Scientists, researchers of public engagement, and public engagement practitioners share their experience of and expertise in public engagement on this platform from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where they build new collaborations, are inspired, and improve skills related to public engagement.
  • SciLinkR

    A website where scientific researchers can connect with journalists and public outreach leaders.

Training

Reference titles, training courses, webinars and workshops to help you communicate more effectively.

A collection of skill-building webinars and online courses to sharpen your science communication skills.

A constantly updated list of resources for those who want to share their science more widely through outreach, public engagement, science communication and more.

A collective of science communicators providing free, open source, online, skills-based science communication training, resources, and in-person workshops.

A selected list of science communication books and articles.

Visual Aids

Sources for graphics and videos to facilitate science communication.

A repository for short, accessible videos about scientific research across the globe. Scientists are encouraged to add to the library by telling their own research stories.

Opportunities

Ongoing opportunities for science communication outreach and tools to find more.

A volunteer organization of graduate students at UT Austin that challenge themselves to present their Ph.D. work to a broad audience, while also giving back to the community through educational outreach.

A web-based tool that makes it easy for STEM volunteers and professionals to connect with K-20 educators, classrooms, out of school time programs, and other volunteer opportunities.

Recurring Events

Occasional options for science communicators of all levels, most of them held annually.

An annual challenge that tasks participants to explain a particular scientific concept in such a way that an 11-year-old could understand.

2018 topic: “What is Climate?”  

An academic competition that challenges master's and doctoral students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience, with limited use of visual aids, props, and delivery style.

  • Research Speed-Dating

Each spring, the UT Science Communication Interest Group and Thinking in Public co-host a "Speed-Dating" event format, where researchers — be they faculty, graduate students, post-docs or undergraduates — and interviewers meet and deliver or hear descriptions of ongoing research and receive feedback.

  • Science in Plain English

Each fall, the UT Science Communication Interest Group hosts a contest, open mic style, where without the help of props or slides, contestants see who can best explain their scientific research in less than three minutes.