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Summaries of Some of the Sessions

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Science, Equity, and Advocacy in the Nuclear Weapons Field

Sunday, March 21st, 12-1 pm ET

Lilly Adams

Union of Concerned Scientists

When we think of the suffering caused by nuclear weapons, we usually think of the horror and tragedy of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But nuclear weapons have also sickened and killed communities across the United States and the world through activities like nuclear weapons testing, uranium mining, and nuclear weapons production. Those in harm's way have often been Indigenous communities, communities of color, and poor, rural communities. Since the earliest days of the Manhattan Project, scientific research has shown that these activities could sicken or kill people through radiation and other toxic exposures, but that science has often been suppressed or dismissed. In some cases, the research that needed to be done to truly understand human exposure was simply never completed, and in the worst cases, human radiation experiments carried out in the name of science actively and knowingly harmed people.Today, this dubious scientific history can greatly hinder the ability of victims to receive the care and recognition they need. In this talk, we'll explore how advocates and scientists in the nuclear space can instead use science and research to support the victims of the US nuclear program, who are still fighting for justice. 

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3D Printing @ MSU Libraries

Sunday, March 21st, 4-5 pm ET

Amanda Tickner

MSU Libraries

This workshop/presentation provides an introduction to basic 3D printing, with an emphasis on how it can help researchers. We will discuss the basics of 3D printing,  how some MSU researchers have used the library Makerspace 3D printing services,  how to access the services MSU libraries has available for 3D printing, and if time allows we will do some hands-on modelling in an online app.

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Art, Games, and Communicating Science

Saturday, March 20th, 2-3 pm ET

Kelly Stanford

University of Hull

The world needs science more than ever - with a global pandemic in full swing and the effects of climate change becoming more apparent; scientists must strive to spread their knowledge to as many communities as possible to help educate the masses and combat misinformation for a better future. The main barrier is communicating the research effectively (and simply enough!) so that it can be understood by the general public, which is no easy feat. In this talk researcher, science communicator and artist Kelly Stanford from the University of Hull demonstrates how art and tabletop games can be used by scientists as tools to bridge this gap and provide a more fun and welcoming gateway into STEM discussion.


The Art of Science Communication

Saturday, March 20th, 4-5 pm ET

Semarhy Quiñones, Ph.D.

California State University, Sacramento

The Art of Science Communication workshop focuses on the intersection between science and art. Participants will learn about science art (SciArt) and how it can be used to inform and educate audiences about science-related topics. Participants will have the opportunity to make an illustration based on a scientific topic. They will learn about SciArt as a career, and how it can be used to raise awareness on social, political and cultural issues related to science. Lastly, participants will learn how social media can play an important role in the dissemination of visual science communication. 


Building Trust in Scientists

Sunday, March 21st, 2-3 pm ET

John C. Besley, Ph.D.

Ellis N. Brandt Professor of Public Relations at Michigan State University

Developing an understanding of the ingredients that underlie trustworthiness can help science communicators think strategically about how their choices can affect perceptions about the scientific community. This talk will invite participants to consider how they might prioritize five specific trustworthiness-related outcomes in any science communication activity. These include perceptions about scientists’ integrity, benevolence (i.e., motivations), abilities, willingness-to-listen, and values/identity. The talk will also share data on perceptions of scientists and how these perceptions may affect willingness to consider the scientific community’s advice.

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Communicating Science as a Minority in STEM

Sunday, March 21st, 1-2 pm ET

Alexandra Colón-Rodríguez, Ph.D.


This talk will focus on the importance of effective science communication, cultural awareness, empathy, and tips for crafting strong messages. I will be discussing how I have applied the tools from my experience with the STEAM100X35, COVID-19 NSVD initiatives, and the SciComm training program I developed at the University of California Davis.


Creating Comics: Science Policy Edition

Saturday, March 20th, 2-3 pm ET

MSU SciComm Policy Committee

Learn how to communicate science policy stories through creating comics. Come with an idea of a science policy story you want to visually share. Using the software Pixton, turn that story into a comic

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Creating Effective Data Visualizations

Sunday, March 21st, 3-4 pm ET

Devin Silvia, Ph.D.

MSU Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering 

When presenting the results of our scientific work, it is important to make sure we’re creating truthful and effective data visualizations. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to review and discuss some of the basic principles of data visualization and explore some simple techniques for making compelling and credible visualizations using publicly available Python-based data visualization tools (e.g., bokeh, matplotlib). While this workshop will only scratch the surface in the data visualization world, references and resources will be provided for exploring these concepts further.

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Developing a Research Impact Identity: Making a Difference in Society

Sunday, March 21st, 4-5 pm ET

Laurie Van Egeren, Ph.D.

MSU Office of University Outreach and Engagement

All researchers want to make a meaningful difference. Within academia and scientific circles, you have a “research identity” that characterizes how you view yourself as an investigator of the specific science you do. In addition, you should also have an “impact identity” that represents how you think about the impact and meaning that your research has in society at large. In this session, we’ll talk about what it means to have an impact identity, how to integrate your impact identity and your research identity, and how to explore and expand your impact identity.

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Developing Engaging Presentations

Sunday, March 21st, 2-3 pm ET

Patrick Morgan

Physics Education & Outreach

This talk will focus on the framework for developing engaging demonstrations. The demonstrative methodology is applicable to in-person and virtual styles, and both styles will be touched on during the presentation.

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Getting Editors to Publish Your Stories

Sunday, March 21st, 3-4 pm ET

Joseph Grimm

MSU School of Journalism

Engaging the public in the exciting stories of scientific research and advances requires gymnastic fervor. This is essential for winning public and institutional support for our work. We must jump into widely accessible language and dive into the media environments where the public gathers. The op-ed space, open to and read by the entire community, is one place where we can meet that audience. MSU journalism prof Joe Grimm is a former editorial writer and 25-year veteran of the Detroit Free Press. He has some insider strategies for making editors want to publish your stories about science and society.

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Interviewing Experts 101

Saturday, March 20th, 2-3 pm ET

Félix E. Rivera-Mariani, Ph.D.

Vistazo a la Ciencia

When we interview an expert during a "LiveStream", how do we make sure the expert talks from the audience's perspective? In this workshop, participants will learn how to plan a line of questions when interviewing a science expert, including setting goals of the talk, aligning questions with the goal(s) of the talk, determining if a topic deserve a single interview or a series of interviews, and how to complement the talk with supplementary materials (i.e., infographics, data visualization, etc.).


Meaningful Community Engagement

Saturday, March 20th, 1-2 pm ET

Daniel Aguirre


Stacey Baker

American Association for the Advancement of Science

In order for science communication to be meaningful to the very communities science seeks to serve, we must first understand the many ways communities are intersectional and that earning trust must be at the heart of all efforts. Earning and building upon trust requires the ability to recognize opportunities to consistently practice inclusion as well as relevant and accessible entry points. Stacey and Daniel will discuss what meaningful community engagement can look and feel like in practice and how to meet communities where they are. 


Nuclear Weapons, Michigan, and Money

Saturday, March 20th, 3-4 pm ET

David Combs

Union for Concerned Scientists 

I will be speaking through an advocacy lens and talking about the nuclear weapons budget relative to lacking investments in science policy and other Michigan priorities. I will be urging scientists to leverage expertise to push for change.

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Podcast Kickstarter

Saturday, March 20th, 4-5 pm ET

Jeremy Whiting

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

You have an idea that you'd like to start a podcast, but where do you start? We'll run through recommendations for the specific equipment and software you'll need, show you how to get it online, and promote it through social media channels. Let's make something!

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Pulling Back the Curtain

Saturday, March 20th, 1-2 pm ET

Zach Constan, Ph.D.

MSU Facility for Rare Isotope Beams

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams and Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics organize and conduct a host of different outreach programs, all geared to different audiences and goals. These programs will be used as examples to illuminate the laboratory’s outreach philosophy and the methods behind successful engagement with the public.

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Science vs. Journalistic Writing

Saturday, March 20th, 3-4 pm ET

Ian Demsky

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

Let's explore some of the fundamentals of journalistic writing and how it differs from traditional scientific presentations. Topics will include: what makes something newsworthy, the anatomy of a news story and common story types.


Sip and Paint: Socializing through Social Justice Art

Sunday, March 21st, 5-6 pm ET

Shira Gordon, Ph.D.


Come paint with us! We are a community living together in this world. During this sip and paint social hour we will work together to create a community art piece. Each participant will paint a piece of the puzzle, including a letter, that will spell out a social justice message when all artworks are together. With the theme of community, you can paint a community of bacteria, an ecosystem, your lab community, or however you best want to fill the canvas! Worried about your art skills? No problem! Workshop leader, Shira D Gordon, PhD will help you create something that will give you pride—or at least entertain you!

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Spectacle, Story, and Staging: SciComm Lessons from Wildlife Films

Saturday, March 20th, 3-4 pm ET

Ellie Louson, Ph.D.

Lyman Briggs College

In this talk, I will share insights from my research into wildlife documentary programs to show how they incorporate entertainment-education, nature-culture, and authenticity-artifice to tell spectacular stories about nature that audiences care about. Using examples from historical and recent wildlife films and tv shows, I offer lessons for scicomm practitioners and students interested in science communication.


Supporting STEMinism

Saturday, March 20th, 1-2 pm ET

Shamira Sanghrajka

1 Million Women in STEM (1MWIS)

1 Million Women in STEM is a network of spotlighting women in STEM and to provide visible role models through our campaign, community, and outreach to inspire the next generation of girls. In this talk, we will discuss how to support the female in STEM in your life and how to create a network of STEMinists in your field.


What's Up with Blogs: A Primer

Sunday, March 21st, 2-3 pm ET

Claudia Ward-de Leon

Union of Concerned Scientists

Are you thinking of starting or contributing to an already established blog or simply curious about how blogs fit into a communications strategy? If so, "What's up with blogs: a primer" will provide a good introduction to blogs including best practices for writing, editing, and sharing your blogs.

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Join us for our first MSU SciComm Conference: Conveyance.


We explored topics focused on science communication like science policy, literature, art, and outreach.

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