Upcoming Events-Public Communication for Researchers - Carnegie Mellon University

Upcoming Events

Our seminars are open and free of charge to all CMU graduate students and postdocs. Knowing how many people to expect really helps us plan, so please register early if you're planning to come!

You can also see all upcoming PCR events on our Google Calendar. Join our mailing list to get reminders about upcoming events.

Fundamentals of Science Communication

The Fundamentals of Science Communication
with Sense About Science USA

September 23rd, 2016
2:00-6:00pm
University Center, McKenna Room
Presenter: Neda Afsarmanesh, with two panels of experienced communicators


The push and pull between science and society means that scientist need to be good communicators, be they engaging with the media, public, policy makers, or funders. The aim of the Sense About Science USA’s workshop is to discuss the importance of public engagement by scientists, address concerns and questions that arise in this endeavor, review core principles and ethics of science communication, provide a better understanding of journalistic processes, and conclude by putting forth ideas on how scientists can be more actively involved in public outreach.

The workshop will include two panels of Pittsburgh science communication stars:

Panel 1: Scientists & public engagement

The following CMU scientists and students will share their experiences working with the media, policy makers and/or the public:

Panel 2: Learning from communicators

In this panel, we'll hear from journalists, science communicators, and outreach specialists on how they approach science stories and public engagement, and how scientists can help.

Register here.

Why are Facts Not Enough?

Why are Facts not Enough?

October 5th, 2016
5-6:30pm
Location TBD
Presenter: Amy Melnyk


Why do people double-down on their beliefs and opinions in the face of contradictory facts? This workshop explores the theory of Cultural Cognition, which sheds light on people's tendency to hold steady about contentious policy matters such as climate change, gun control, and vaccinations. The same social science framework explains much about audiences' acceptance or rejection of science communication. Using the insights of Cultural Cognition, this session will highlight tools for better framing and communicating scientific information to a wide audience.

Register here.

Strategies for Engaging Audience

Strategies for Engaging Your Audience

October 25th, 2016
4:30-6:00pm
Baker Hall 235A
Presenter: Julia Deems


Presenting is critical to getting others interested in your work, yet most researchers receive little practice in how to do it effectively. In this interactive session, you'll learn how to take the content of your presentation and deliver it as an engaging talk. We'll practice strategies for understanding your audience and holding their attention, and demonstrate principles for how to structure your talk to engage. Come with questions! This workshop is geared for students at any stage of work.

Register here.

Communicating Technical Breakthroughs

Communicating Technical Breakthroughs for Industry
with Real Industry

November 2nd, 2016
4:30-6:30pm
Location TBD
Presenter: Jay LeBoeuf


This lecture and workshop is a hands-on crash course in communicating technical skills to a nontechnical industry audience. Students will learn how top technology companies translate research and development into concrete features, benefits, and customers. Students will work on real-world marketing and communication challenges provided by executives and senior managers from companies like Pandora, Sonos, and Sennheiser. Industry mentors will provide feedback as part of the event.

Students will develop the skills to clearly and concisely communicate technical concepts to nontechnical people, which are key differentiator of top talent in a company. People who can communicate their technical ideas effectively win support for those ideas They impress hiring managers. They become leaders in their organizations and secure funding from investors and venture capitalists. In interviews with over 30 top technology companies, Real Industry has discovered that clear communication is key to achieving these goals and becoming invaluable to an executive team, which is why they offer workshops like this one.

Register here.

Science Communication Across Cultures

Science Communication Across Cultures

November 15th, 2016
4:30-6:00pm
Baker Hall 235B
Presenter: Rebecca Oreto


As both societies and scientific enterprises become increasingly globalized, many scientists will be called upon to discuss their work with people from other countries and cultures, whether they are collaborators, stakeholders in areas affected by the research, family members, or media outlets. While some communication techniques will translate well to different cultures, differences in norms regarding structure, audience questions, and other presentation elements require changing one's communication approach to best reach the audience. This workshop will explore these differences and related biases that may impact how a scientist views or is viewed by an audience. Participants will learn to recognize these biases using examples and exercises, and will learn and practice strategies to help ensure that they can communicate about their research effectively whatever the audience's background.

Register here.

Science Non-Fiction

Blog: Science Non Fiction

Every Thursday, 5:30-6:30pm
Wean Hall 5304

Science Non-Fiction is PCR's blog, where Pittsburgh graduate students share a their perspective on science in the news and in our lives. We blog about reusing poop, the most important teapot in the history of computing, the sad science of whiskey stones, and more. Occasionally articles get picked up, but mostly we write for our own practice at writing.

Each week we workshop a piece written by a different member. If you're interested in honing your writing, come join us for one of our weekly meetings! (Don't worry, you don't need to have an article of your own to join.)