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Conference Schedule

Thursday, January 26

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.                                     Registration

Session 1: Nuts & Bolts of Communication Skills (Chair: Allison Coffin)

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Conference Welcome Address
Suzanne Bonamici, United States Representative, 1st District of Oregon

Introduction of Organizing Committee
Allison Coffin, Washington State University Vancouver
Janine Castro, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

9:15 – 9:45 a.m. Primer on Oral Presentation Skills
Allison Coffin, Washington State University Vancouver
Janine Castro, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 9:45 – 10:30 a.m. Improv Theater and Distilling Your Message: Tools from the Alda Center
Theresa May, University of Oregon
Lewis Taylor, University of Oregon
Molly Blancett, University of Oregon

10:30 – 10:55 a.m. Coffee Break

10:55 – 11:40 a.m. Fight the Power(Point)!: How to Become a Presentation Superstar
Todd Reubold, Ensia and University of Minnesota

11:40 – 12:10 p.m. Advice for Talking Science to Normal People
Steven Sobieszczyk, U.S. Geological Survey

12:15 – 12:45 p.m. Lunch in the Foyer

12:45 – 1:45 p.m. KEYNOTE: The Power of Procrastination/The Science Gap
Jorge Cham, PhD Comics

Session 2: Science Communication & Policy (Chair: Reena Clements)

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Science and Policy Panel (Moderator: Chris Logan)
Jackie Dingfelder, former Oregon State Senator
Benjamin Hoffman, Oregon Health and Science University
Mark Lewis, STEM Education Policy Director, State of Oregon

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. The Science Coalition and Communicating Science to Funders
Glynda Becker, Science Coalition and Washington State University Government Relations

3:30 – 3:40 p.m. Group Photo

3:40 – 4:00 p.m. Coffee Break

Session 3: Science Communication Success Stories (Chair: Teresa Wolfe)

4:00 – 4:45 p.m. KEYNOTE: This Week in Science
Kiki Sanford, This Week in Science and Broader Impacts

4:45 – 5:00 p.m. Visual Storytelling: Telling Science Stories with Pictures, Video, Animation, and Motion Graphics
MacGregor Campbell, Freelance visual journalist

5:00 – 5:15 p.m. Training Informal Science Communication in a Chemistry Research Center: The Sustainable Nano Blog
Miriam Krause, The Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology and the University of Minnesota

5:15 – 5:30 p.m. 360 Degree SPICE: Two Perspectives on Science Outreach Program for Girls
Morgan Vauk, Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence (SPICE), University of Oregon
Matt Selby (University of Oregon, SPICE, Chemistry & Biochemistry)

5:30 – 5:45 p.m. Engage: Training a New Generation of Science Communicators
Robin McLachlan, School of Oceanography, University of Washington
Elisa Bonnin (School of Oceanography, University of Washington)
Roxanne Carini (Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington)
William Chen (Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management, University of Washington)

5:45 – 6:00 p.m. Better Communication Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Daryn Blanc-Goldhammer, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon

6:00 – 6:15 p.m. Lessons from the Trenches: Nuts & Bolts of Running a Successful Outreach Program
Brandy Todd, Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence (SPICE), University of Oregon

Friday, January 27

Session 4: Traditional and New Media Opportunities (Chair: Elly Vandegrift)

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Working with the Media Panel (Moderator: Steven Sobieszczyk)
Keely Chalmers, KGW-TV
Kathy Grant, Oregon Health and Science University
Ed Jahn, Oregon Public Broadcasting

10:00 – 10:40 a.m. Blogging and New Online Media Opportunities
Paige Brown Jarreau, Louisiana State University

10:40 – 11:00 a.m. Coffee Break

11:00 – 11:20 a.m. How Teenagers Really Use Social Media
Erik Johnson, Camas High School, Camas, Washington

11:20 – 11:50 a.m. Science, Social Media, and Kids
Rachel Webber, Ask Dr. Universe, Washington State University

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. Lunch in the Foyer

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. KEYNOTE: So You Want to Change the World?
Nancy Baron, COMPASS

Session 5: Informal Science Education (Chair: Steven Sobieszczyk)

1:45 – 2:15 p.m. Best Practices in Informal Science Education
Martin Storksdieck, College of Education, Oregon State University

2:15 – 2:40 p.m. Portal to the Public and Informal Science Learning
Lauren Moreno, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

2:45 – 3:10 p.m. Informal Science Learning: Science on Tap
Amanda Thomas, Via Productions and Science on Tap

3:10 – 3:30 p.m. Coffee Break

Afternoon Track for Conference Attendees (Chair: Janine Castro)

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. WORKSHOP: Informal Science for STEM Professionals
Lauren Moreno, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Amanda Fisher, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Crafting the Future of Science Talk NW
Janine Castro, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Steve Sobieszczyk, U.S. Geological Survey

Afternoon Track for Speaking Contestants (Alt.) (Chair: Allison Coffin and Elena Mahrt)

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Science Communication Competition: Preliminaries
Select Trainees

Science Communication Contest & Reception (Chair: Kiki Sanford)

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Reception

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Science Communication Competition: Finals
Open to the Public

 

Abstracts (Submission Optional)

Fight the Power(Point)!: How to Become a Presentation Superstar
Todd Reubold (Ensia)
There are a range of design and delivery best practices aimed at building better presentations. Nowadays just about everyone with access to a computer is creating presentation slides using PowerPoint, Keynote or similar software. But is the message being lost in the mix of templates, animations, logos, photos and way too much text? Basic design principles can be employed to create clearer, more powerful presentations. 


Advice for Talking Science to Normal People
Steven Sobieszczyk (U.S. Geological Survey)
Communication is very much like marketing, where how you say something depends entirely on with whom you are speaking. When it comes to talking about science, especially from a scientist’s point-of-view, reworking something for different audiences may seem like a waste of time. It’s not! Making the effort to adjust your message, content, tone, and delivery are all important factors to better reach your audience. When talking with the general public, it all starts with one question, “Why should they care?” Answer this and you have met your audience’s needs. It is vital to explain what is happening at the broadest level possible so your audience can understand why it’s important. If you happen to entertain, engage, inspire, or inform along the way…all the better.


Visual Storytelling: Telling Science Stories with Pictures, Video, Animation, and Motion Graphics
MacGregor Campbell (freelance science journalist/animator)
Memes, gifs, infographics, animation, and motion graphics — visual storytelling is a hugely popular way of communicating complex ideas in science and technology. You don’t have to be an amazing artist or video wizard to tell an effective and memorable visual story. From photography to stop motion animation, the tools and methods abound, but all share a few basic principles of visual storytelling. In this hands-on workshop we’ll look at what those principles are, what makes for a good visual story, and get acquainted with practical tools and techniques to get started.


Training Informal Science Communication in a Chemistry Research Center: The Sustainable Nano Blog
Miriam Krause, PhD (Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, University of Minnesota)
Some students in STEM have an independent passion for science communication, but most people need exposure, encouragement, training, and practice in order to become confident and successful science communicators. The Sustainable Nano blog (sustainablenano.com) has a dual mission of providing both accessible science outreach for the public and training in informal science communication for students in the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. Sustainable Nano is the primary outreach vehicle for the CSN, a multi-institute Center for Chemical Innovation funded by the National Science Foundation. In the proposed presentation, the CSN’s Director of Education and Outreach will provide an overview of the blog and its combined outreach and professional development goals, including information about training student writers and coordinating the blog’s peer editing system. The presentation will also offer insights into organizing a group blog and measuring its impact, both in terms of audience engagement and long-term benefits for student writers.


360 Degree SPICE: Two Perspectives on a Science Outreach Program for Girls
Brandy Todd (University of Oregon, SPICE Program)
Morgan Vauk (University of Oregon, SPICE, Chemistry & Biochemistry)
Matt Selby (University of Oregon, SPICE, Chemistry & Biochemistry)
Since 2008, the Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence (SPICE) has provided engaging, hands on science for girls on the University of Oregon campus. Four years of research demonstrate that the program has a positive impact on girls’ affinities to science and has used the voices of participants to illuminate how girls construct identities as scientists. This talk will present the program from three perspectives: the program co-founder and director, a veteran undergraduate SPICE outreach instructor, and SPICE program alumna. The presenters will cover the “big picture” impact of the program, the personal influence the program has had in their own life and career choices, and the future of SPICE. Presenters will embed their personal experiences within the program theory of action which is based in identity theory, self-efficacy theory, and mindsets. The talk will focus on the transformative power of theoretically grounded outreach and the importance of the personal touch in inviting underrepresented students into the world of scientific inquiry.


Engage: Training a New Generation of Science Communicators
Elisa Bonnin (School of Oceanography, University of Washington)
Roxanne Carini (Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington)
William Chen (Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management, University of Washington)

Robin McLachlan (School of Oceanography, University of Washington)
Graduate students in the sciences receive specialized training in cutting-edge research. Rarely, however, do they receive training in how to explain their research to public audiences. This places a barrier between those doing research and those the research is meant to serve. Engage is an organization, run by and for graduate students in scientific disciplines, that addresses this need at the University of Washington. Supported by the College of the Environment, the Engage graduate-level seminar teaches emerging scientists to effectively communicate their own research to a general audience. Seminar themes include storytelling, audience consideration, and presentation skills. Students in the course learn from a variety of sources: improvisational games, group discussion and feedback, and most importantly, practice. After completion of the course, each student gives a presentation in a public venue, currently hosted by Town Hall Seattle as the “UW Science Now” speaker series. Beyond the course and speaker series, involved students have the opportunity to join the Engage Board of Directors to sustain and grow this unique program. The Board continues to assess and improve the seminar course, hosts workshops for the broader academic community, and promotes good scientific communication as the cultural norm. Under the guidance of the Board, Engage trains today’s graduate students in cutting-edge communication skills in order to reconnect the public with science and bring about a more informed tomorrow.


Better Communication Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Daryn Blanc-Goldhammer (Psychology Department, Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon)
Kylie Lockwood (Fine Art Department, Cave Gallery, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Mich.)
British physical chemist and novelist C. P. Snow described art and science as two cultures, which do not speak the same language. We (a sculptor and a neuroscientist) were challenged to bridge the gap between these two cultures through a program called the Third Culture Projects, a series created by the University of Oregon in conjunction with the Oregon Arts Commission. The goal of this program was to bring artists and scientists together for mutual inquiry and advancement. In particular, we were interested in how we could each make information from our respective fields more accessible. Each field had its own vernacular and certain topics that were assumed knowledge. In some, cases the same word could mean very different things to an artist than it would to a scientist (e.g. “significant”). Through genuine interest in each other’s practice and by being immersed in the foreign field’s environment, we were able to break down the communication barriers by describing concepts without the use of jargon or compromising the caliber of content. This impartial communication promotes interdisciplinary and team-focused work, where individual experts can communicate without extensive training in each field. In addition to gaining effective communication skills, we also produced a permanent installation in the Lewis Integrative Science Building at the University of Oregon. This program was an inspiring starting point and we plan to continue to explore the role of communication in interdisciplinary projects in the future.


Lessons from the Trenches: Nuts and Bolts of Running a Successful Outreach Program
Brandy Todd (University of Oregon, SPICE Program)
At some point in their careers, most scientists will participate in or observe informal science outreach in action. Outreach programs abound, but little data exists evaluating the impacts or longevity of such programs. Anecdotally, those in the field know that most programs fade over time and usually disappear when the founder moves on. What does an enduring outreach program look like? How do you administer and manage such programs? What is the role of evaluation and assessment and how can natural scientists learn from the fields of education and social sciences to incorporate meaningful evaluation into their programs? How can busy scientists fit outreach into their workload without burning out or producing a lackluster experience? This talk will briefly present the history of the successful Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence (SPICE) housed at the University of Oregon (2008-present) and the move to providing heuristic models for engaging the public with science through outreach. The presenter will also provide the audience with some valuable insights into what NOT to do with outreach based on hard-won lessons.


How Teenagers Really Use Social Media
Erik Johnson (Camas High School)
Social media has become an essential part of the way we communicate and direct our lives. However, it seems the most underrepresented demographic when it comes to discussing how social media is used is the generation that grew up using it: teenagers. By discussing the way in which teenagers truly utilize social media, scientists and educators can learn how to effectively communicate across generational and technological lines.


So you want to change the world?
Nancy Baron (COMPASS)
Following on her recent Nature Comment, a “call to action” for scientists to engage with society, COMPASS Outreach Director Nancy Baron will discuss how in these tumultuous times scientists need to support each other in standing up for science. To connect with their audiences, scientists need to speak from the heart and talk about their worthy intentions and what motivates them. She will share inspiring stories of scientists who are pushing their past their discomfort zones to make a difference — and offer some practical tools to help speed you on your way.


“Improv theater and distilling your message: Tools from the Alda Center”
Theresa May, Lewis Taylor, and Molly Blancett
“Communication is not something you add on to science; it is the essence of science” – Alan Alda
Since 2009, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science has been helping train the next generation of scientists and health professionals to communicate more effectively with reporters, philanthropists, policy makers, the public and others outside their own discipline. In order to fulfill its mission of enhancing the understanding of science, the center trains students, scientists and science communicators using a mix of improvisational theater techniques, storytelling methods and multimedia elements. This session will offer a snapshot of the flexible skills taught by the center, including improvisation for scientists, and distilling your message. The workshop takes its cue from the Alan Alda Center Boot Camp, a week-long training that helps participants communicate more directly and responsively, pick up on non-verbal signals, become more flexible and engaging in their communication, and develop clear, compelling messages and adapt them for different audiences. The session will be led by University of Oregon communicators Theresa May, Lewis Taylor and Molly Blancett. The UO is one of 17 world-wide affiliates of the Alda Center.