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MSU SciComm leads science communication session for REU students

MSU SciComm president Chelsie Boodoo stands with the panel

Members of Michigan State University’s Science Communication organization, MSU SciComm, led a session on the importance of science communication for 30 first-time researchers in the Plant Genomics and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center’s summer undergraduate research programs. Students learned about various aspects and types of science communication. Gracielou Klinger, a graduate student in the Biochemistry and Molecular spoke about her past science communication internship at the Shedd Aquarium. After she joined Dr. John Besley, David Poulson, and Dr. Ellie Louson in a panel on science communication. Dr. Besley is the Ellis N. Brandt professor who studies the public opinion of science and scientists. Later, David Poulson the Senior Associate Director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism spoke about writing in science communication and Dr. Ellie Louson, a learning designer at Michigan State’s Hub for Innovation, discussed science art and the science artwork that the Science Gallery in Detroit features.

“Science communication is an integral part of what you have agreed to do for a career.” David Poulson said, addressing the undergraduate researchers. “Sharing results is really, really important and scientific journals are not enough, particularly if you are a public scientist doing public science with public money.”

To help the summer undergraduate research students feel comfortable and provide an example of sharing their research, graduate students from various departments at MSU performed elevator pitches. After, the summer undergraduate research students gave their elevator pitches. A winner from each summer program was voted on by the MSU SciComm members. The winning students will be interviewed on the Impact 89 FM specialty show The Sci-Files with their mentors about their research. Stay tuned for the link to the interview!

A recording of the session can be viewed at

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