We are excited to launch our second annual Science Communication Mission Statement Challenge today January 8th, 2019.
It is an exciting time to be a science advocate as science communication is taking its much needed rightful place on social media, and is embedded in science training curricula. The number of science communication jobs and degrees are on the rise and increasing number of scientists are getting out of their labs to share their knowledge with the world.
With all of these wonderful initiatives happening, why do we need a science communication mission statement challenge? Frankly, because we find this very important component of strategic communication missing from many outreach efforts. We support this claim with the results of an (admittedly unscientific) survey we recently conducted on Twitter presented below. You may have to take the poll to view the results:
All great adventures start with a question. We’ve got one for the #scicomm community and #sciencetwitter peeps who want to do public outreach:— SciComm Journal Club (@scicomm_jc) January 2, 2019
Do you have a MISSION STATEMENT for your science outreach? #scicommjc
Why do I need a science communication mission statement ?
We believe implementing a successful science communication outreach initiative requires a strong foundation–your mission statement. A thoughtfully written science communication mission statement helps bring focus and clarity of purpose. It can also function as a guide for building a road map towards successfully achieving your goals. This is why we are challenging you to State Your Mission!
How do I join the science communication mission challenge?
Craft your mission statement to clearly articulate the Who, What, How and Why of your science outreach efforts (see guidelines below). Then share your mission statement on Twitter or Instagram (whichever social media platform you use most often). When posting your mission statement, you must tag @scicomm_jc (on Twitter) or @scicommjc (on Instagram) and include the hashtag #scicommjc in your post.
What is the deadline for posting my science communication mission statement?
Your mission statement must be posted by February 4, 2019 at 11:59 PST.
What is the prize?
This year, we will be looking for the top 3 science communication mission statements, and we’re going bigger and bolder in the way we reward our winners:
- 1st Place: This year we will be offering the winner of the State Your Mission Challenge additional support in implementing their vision. This is why the Science Communication Journal Club team members are offering their expertise to the winner (see below for the details). We also want to share the science communication vision of our winner far and wide. The winner will be featured on all of the Science Communication Journal Club channels, including all social media and our newsletter. In addition, our winner will be featured as a guest on our monthly Twitter chat and podcast, and as a guest author on our blog. Finally, our winner will receive a Nerd of Trust Certificate of Achievement to proudly display their winning science communication mission statement, and earn a spot on the Nerds of Trust Excellence wall of fame.
- 2nd Place: The second place winner will be featured on all of the Science Communication Journal Club channels, including all social media and our newsletter. In addition, he/she will be featured as a guest on our monthly Twitter chat and podcast, and as a guest author on our blog.
- 3rd Place: The third place winner will be featured as a guest author on our blog and as a special guest on our Twitter chat.
Tell me more about the 1st place prize
Each of our Science Communication Journal Club team members have generously donated a fantastic prize. This means the winner receives not one, but FOUR packages as part of their first place title for the 2019 State Your Mission Challenge:
1- A hard copy of the Award winning science communication book written by Dr. Sherry Nouraini, Founder/Managing Editor of Scicomm Journal Club, science communication and social media instructor, and speaker- Sherry’s book, Social Solutions for Climate Change has won Gold in the 2018 eLit Book Awards in the Current Events category, and was a finalist at the 2016-2017 Annual San Diego Book Awards in the Science category.
Social Solutions for Climate Change provides a step by step guide for creating a science communication strategy informed by evidence-based research in effective science and climate change communication. In addition, leveraging many years of practicing and teaching social media strategy, in her book, Sherry offers guidelines for strategic and measurable use of the tools of social media for science outreach.
Sherry has pledged to also offer an hour and a half of one-on-on strategy session with our first place winner, provided they read her book and complete the exercises therein. Should you accept the challenge, this $170.00 value prize (hard copy book and strategy session) is a complementary gift from Sherry to our First place winner.
2- A “Make your Research Sharable” guide and one-on-one practice session with Mariya Vizireanu, PhD – ScicommJC food science and eating perceptions expert
How do you fit your passion for research and science into a Tweet? an Instagram image? Mariya’s “Make your Research Sharable” guide will give you the basics of sharing what’s on your nerd mind with others and allow you to practice these skills through hands-on exercises. Finally, you will receive feedback as well as discuss your social media goals, fears, aspirations, and questions with Mariya during a 1-hour phone/skype session. This $150.00 value prize is a complementary gift from Mariya to our First place winner.
3- A two hour public speaking workshop with Nevena Hristozova, host of the Scicomm Journal Club podcast, co-host of @BlueStreakSci , Founder of SciScircle, co-organizer of @_PubHd and @pintofscience, and scicomm standup comedian
A one on one workshop with the most valuable tips and tricks for successful public speaking techniques – useful when you give a scientific talk, when you participate at outreach events, or host a vlog/podcast. From the way you speak, through your posture and gestures, to the vocabulary you use – learn the tricks and start mixing your own speaking style to deliver influential and memorable oral messages. This $200.00 value prize is a complementary gift from Nevena to our First place winner.
4- A Strategic Advocacy Planning Session Package with Heather Conklin, ScicommJC policy & politics expert and Founder of SPOT Strategies
Now that you have your award-winning mission statement, it’s time to dive into the details of how you are going to implement your mission and advocate for science! This strategic advocacy planning session package will help you and your team to gain focus, direction, and concrete next steps for your science advocacy to support your mission.
Your strategic planning session might focus on aspects of advocacy planning, such as:
- Getting clarity on your goals for science advocacy to support your mission.
- Developing and prioritizing tangible action steps for your goals, including identifying specific advocacy methods best-suited for what you want to achieve (e.g., policy change; building public awareness).
- Establishing metrics and timelines for measuring progress to keep your plan on track as you move forward.
Your customized strategic advocacy planning session package includes a 30-minute discovery call, 1 hour strategic planning session, and session notes. The strategic advocacy planning session, which will be conducted online, is a $300 value prize as a complementary gift from Heather to our First place winner.
I am in! How do I write a winning mission statement?
To get inspiration, you can review the winning mission statement from our inaugural challenge last year. Also, here is a list of questions, the answers to which must be included in your submission. Start by answering these questions:
1. Who will be the focus of your outreach efforts?
Example: Science fiction fans
2. How do you want to approach your audience?
Example: I will approach attendees of a local sci-fi film festival for opportunities to talk about the science behind the featured storylines or characters.
3. What specific outcome do you aim to achieve?
Example: I want people to know the science behind science fiction so that people can better understand how science works and that it is relevant to all aspects of their lives.
4. Why do you think your approach will have a positive impact on science communication?
Example: By doing outreach to sci-fi fans, not only will they be inspired and educated about the role of science in their lives, but they will also carry this education with them to their children and other family members, friends, and larger sci-fi community, building science awareness and public engagement.
Carefully crafting answers to these questions will help not only to clarify the direction of your science communication plans, it will also guide the kind of training you seek, conferences you attend, and alliances you create. These answers will also form the basis for crafting your masterful mission statement!
Example mission statement: I will engage sci-fi fans in my community and educate them about how science has influenced their favorite sci-fi movie storylines and characters. I will visit local sci-fi-focused events, including film festivals and meet-ups to talk with attendees about my lab, my work as a scientist, and the science behind the featured or favorite science fiction to build awareness about science, enhance scientific literacy (e.g., differences between real science and science fiction), and engagement in science among the public.
When will I know if I won?
Winners will be announced on February 15, 2019.
Are you ready to make you mission possible?
Share it with the world!