EDITOR'S NOTE — This story has been updated as the conference has been rescheduled for Aug. 14-16.
Registration is open for the annual SciComm conference, but the conference has been rescheduled due to the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, and new travel restrictions put in place. The conference will now be held Aug. 14-16.
The professional conference is an annual gathering of scientists, educators, professional communicators and artists, all hoping to gain training in effective science communication, forge connections and receive critical feedback. Registration will now be open until Aug. 1. Register here.
The keynote speakers will include Christopher Volpe of ScienceCounts and Andrew Revkin of the Initiative on Communication and Sustainability, speaking Saturday and Sunday morning respectively.
Volpe is the executive director and a founding board member of ScienceCounts, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting awareness and supporting science. There, he develops data-driven social marketing strategies to foster connections between the scientific community and the public. Revkin is a science journalist for the New York Times and the founding director of the Initiative at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where he builds programs, courses and collaborations that bridge the gap between climate science and society.
“This conference is a great opportunity for advanced students and scientists just entering their careers to build a strong foundation in communication, which can help propel their success for years to come, regardless of their career paths,” said Eileen Hebets, committee chair and professor of biological sciences at Nebraska. “It’s also a great opportunity for mid- and late-career scientists, media professionals and educators to build connections, share ideas, and inspire new, innovative and effective science communication strategies.”
SciComm will open at 1 p.m. Aug. 14 with three professional development workshops teaching education, design and film concepts. The workshops will be followed by a Lightning Talk competition and Film Festival that evening. For the most up-to-date information on the events, click here.
Weekend events will include the keynote speeches as well as concurrent talks and sessions by nationally known experts focused on the following key areas: informal STEM learning; science communication research; K-12 STEM; disciplinary-based education research; science and the media; broader impacts; and communicating controversial science. Also on the agenda are a Community Science Festival, hosted by the University of Nebraska State Museum and featuring SciComm participants’ hands-on tabletop activities focused on their area of research; a reception featuring SciComm Bingo and live performances marrying the arts and sciences; and a Science Café hosted by Morrill Hall at The Happy Raven Craft Beer Bar.
SciComm began at Nebraska in 2015 as a one-day symposium and was repeated in 2016. It was expanded into a full conference in 2018 and has attracted faculty, teachers and education-focused professionals from across the country.
Sponsors of this year’s conference include the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education; Nebraska's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research; the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Education and Human Sciences, and Engineering; the Agricultural Research Division; Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication; Nebraska Biotechnology Center; the departments of Entomology, Agronomy and Horticulture, and Communication Studies; the Office of Research and Economic Development; the School of Biological Sciences; and the University of Nebraska State Museum; all at Nebraska, among others.