SciComm Saturday offers research incubator, Alan Alda Center training

October 21, 2016

Faculty and post-doctoral researchers at the University Park and Harrisburg campuses are invited to explore new opportunities and improve their communication skills during SciComm Saturday Oct. 29. 

At the University Park campus, faculty and post-doctoral researchers may attend a full-day intensive that begins with a research incubator and convenes with the innovative communication training by the Alda Center for Communicating Science. There is no cost to attend the University Park training. Registration links for SciComm Saturday, directions and the full agenda are available at

"There is a growing awareness that scientists need to improve how they communicate to increase the social impact of their research. This starts with research—figuring out the most productive ways to present science issues—and ends with the practical approaches to talking to the media and the public," said Lee Ahern, associate professor in the College of Communications and senior research fellow at the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication. "That is why this day starts with research in the morning, connecting social, physical and life scientists, and moves to practical approaches in the afternoon. Overall it is another critical step in journey toward more effective science communication and broader impacts for Penn State science."

Indeed, improved communication and outreach skills can help researchers network and engage more effectively with funding agencies, other researchers, news reporters and policymakers; but researchers may also find they need improved communication skills when talking about their work to friends and family. 

"I feel strongly that faculty should be equipped with tools to communicate the value of their research to their family and friends," said Susannah Gal, Associate Dean for Research and Outreach at Penn State Harrisburg. "After all, it's the family and friends who are supporting their research through taxes and contributions to foundations and the Penn State University."

Faculty and post-doctoral researchers near Penn State Harrisburg are invited to attend the Alan Alda Center science communication training on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $50, and registration is available online

SciComm Saturday is part of the second-annual Science Communication month at Penn State, a joint collaboration between the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, and the College of Communications. The event series includes public seminars and several intensive trainings for faculty and graduate students provided by COMPASS. Support in-kind has been provided by the Penn State Libraries, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and Penn State Harrisburg; event sponsors included the Center for Marine Science and Technology and The Center for Global Studies

To be included on future announcements related to SciComm events at Penn State, send an email to

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 26, 2016