Carnegie Mellon University

About Public Communication for Researchers

Public Communication for Researchers (PCR) is a student organization whose mission is to help graduate students hone their communication skills. PCR was founded by three Ph.D. students at Carnegie Mellon who wanted to raise the level of public discourse on issues related to science and technology.

What we're doing

PCR's goal is to help participants learn and practice communicating about their research with people of any background. We don’t aim to turn researchers into full-time communicators – we just want to feel comfortable talking about our work with the media, the voting public, and our families. To that end, we provide opportunities for students to practice the skills they need to communicate outside the ivory tower, such as fielding questions from a friend at the bar, writing an op-ed, or giving a compelling public talk. (See our programs page for details of our current programs.)
 
We also advocate for public communication training to be incorporated into the university’s professional development programming for graduate students. We are working with CMU’s Global Communication Center to add workshops on public communication into their offerings starting later this semester.

Our vision

We hope that by training the next generation of scientists to be proactive in engaging with the public, we can improve public trust of and support for research and education. We can empower the voting public to be informed participants in policy debates. We can create a culture that places more value on facts and data, as well as an academic culture that carefully considers the relationship between research and society. And of course, we can share the wonder and excitement of discovery.