From Science Communication Theory to Practice: Introducing SciComm Scenarios

As scientists, we’re constantly seeing science communication advice and tips online on how best to talk about different science-related topics. In theory, we may know what we’d like to say, but how do these conversations actually play out in real life when you’re talking to your co-workers, friends, and family members ?

Scholarly research on science communication in informal environments illustrates the importance and lasting impacts that everyday science conversations can have. From personal hobbies to social media engagement and technology use, science is everywhere and directly related to other topics that people already engage with anyway!

Even in virtual environments where some of our nonverbal conversational cues may be limited, these conversations can be difficult but they are necessary to have. So, how can we better navigate these everyday science conversations?

With SciComm Scenarios, we’ll pose the scenario and ask you how you’d contribute to the conversation? Such scenarios can include your aunt bringing up a new fad diet at Thanksgiving dinner, your neighbor experiencing vaccine hesitancy, or your co-worker addressing issues of equity and inclusion in the workplace. You’ll also hear from others with their own perspectives and learn more about the different contexts of these science conversations.

After the SciComm Scenarios discussions, the SciComm Journal Club team will sort through the online conversations, provide summaries of each scenario based on your response, and analyze social media engagement data to continually improve future SciComm Scenario discussions. By applying best-practices in science communication, we hope to stimulate conversations about science-related topics in our everyday lives!

If you’re interested in contributing to the conversation and see what others’ have to say, follow #SciCommScenarios and #Scicomm_JC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!