#gradscicomm: the current landscape of communication trainings available to graduate students in the STEM disciplines

#gradscicomm: the current landscape of communication trainings available to graduate students in the STEM disciplines

#gradscicomm: the current landscape of communication trainings available to graduate students in the STEM disciplines

National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C. December 5th 2013.

  1. Over the past year, COMPASS has worked to assess the current landscape of communication trainings available to graduate students in the STEM disciplines. We’ve dubbed this project#GradSciComm, and it has included building a community-sourced database that provides some insight into the current content and capacity of workshops and courses – but this is only the beginning of the conversation. At the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C., four COMPASS staff –Nancy Baron, Brooke Smith, Erica Goldman, and Liz Neeley – will facilitate discussion among a select groupof scholars, trainers, funders, institutional leaders, and graduate students as they consider the results of our work to date and wrestle with where we go from here.
  2. GradSciComm Slides:
  3. Very excited to be headed to DC for our #gradscicomm workshop!! In taxi enroute to airport – keep eye on @COMPASSonline blog for post today
  4. All year we’ve been hard at work on our @NSF-funded #gradscicomm project. Off to workshop today  http://compassblogs.org/blog/2013/12/03/gradscicomm-rolling-up-our-sleeves/  Follow & contribute!
  5. This week @COMPASSonline will be hosting our much anticipated #GradSciComm mtg. Learn how you can contribute here:  http://bit.ly/187ZgzV 
  6. Looking forward to our @COMPASSonline gathering this week about #gradscicomm, more young scientists engaging!  http://bit.ly/1be7Efw 
  7. Me too! Plane train and automobile tomorrow but not that order.
    @LizNeeley: Very excited to be headed to DC for #gradscicomm workshop!!”
  8. #gradscicomm = my lovely reward after 3 weeks of PhD comps studying, an underground bunker, and “Darkness on the Edge of Town” on repeat.
  9. Excited about our NSF funded workshop in DC with #GradSciComm leaders: Rolling Up Our Sleeves  http://bit.ly/1izHudC 
  10. #gradscicomm participants in DC early enough tonight: I’m going to  http://www.bistrotducoin.com  for dinner around six. Join me?
  11. Fellow PhD Students: I’m @ intimate workshp w/ @COMPASSonline & @NSF to better serve u. We wanna know core #gradscicomm competencies. Input?
  12. How to reform graduate STEM education to include communications training? @COMPASSonline‘s #gradscicomm starts today! Follow the # to join.
  13. Join the conversation looking at the role communication skills have in graduate science education. #gradscicomm
  14. Here at @NASciences for 4 straight days of #scicomm. Super excited to be part of #gradscicomm today!
  15. So very pleased to be at the @NASciences today for our @NSF-funded #gradscicomm workshop. Such an inspiring group! pic.twitter.com/0g4YyvCpGZ
  16. Soundbite from #gradscicomm on training fails “Like asking someone to play piano at Carnegie Hall by handing them a worksheet with ten tips”
  17. .@LizNeeley #gradscicomm How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.
  18. Vision exercise at #GradSciComm workshop. Hmmm…usually vision is in short supply. We’ll see! Should be interesting!
  19. Today, our PI Jamie Bell is at the @COMPASSonline workshop at @NASciences. Learn more:  http://ow.ly/rpKbZ  & follow along: #GradSciComm
  20. Good! Early in #gradscicomm workshop we underscore that greater scientific literacy does not necessarily = greater support for science
  21. “We’re not going to change undergraduate education until we change graduate education.” (Participant at #GradSciComm workshop)
  22. #gradscicomm phrases that make me happy: “We need to evaluate the hell out of these training programs”
  23. #gradscicomm phrases that make me VERY happy: “we are treating these training awards as experiments, and we mean it”
  24. We have been (gently) accused of failing to don sufficiently ‘sciency’ clothing! Perils of #scicomm wardrobe choices 🙂 #gradscicomm
  25. Note: we have agreed to Chatham House rules here at #gradscicomm workshop.  http://www.chathamhouse.org/about-us/chathamhouserule  Livetweeting content but no attribution
  26. Learning about so many cool grad #scicomm programs here at #gradscicomm. Wish they existed when I was in school! #hardknocklife
  27. If you are or have grad students, strongly encourage you to look at  http://myidp.sciencecareers.org  (Individual Development Plans) #gradscicomm
  28. Young scientists largely unaware of alternative career paths to academia. Need individ’l development plans (and coms training) #gradscicomm
  29. Key to the roadmap for #GradSciComm, who has the power to align the stars (the important funding people or agencies)?
  30. Now discussing: when we try to change institutional culture to support #GradSciComm, is grassroots approach more effective than top-down?
  31. A sense of urgency, “we can’t afford not to” is a key way to persuade top-down institutional change in #gradscicomm
  32. “Altruism just doesn’t make it.” The coin of the realm is the dollar sign. Big challenge: What’s the return on investment for #gradscicomm?
  33. @LizNeeley Challenging topics. You may have addressed. What defines competency? What are metrics? What’s the ultimate goal? #gradscicomm
  34. #GradSciComm grassroots orgs like @EngageScience need a cross-institutional database of key points for persuading institutional levers
  35. Heard at #gradscicomm : “Communication skills require emotional intelligence. That’s something academia tends to select out.” #scicomm #phd
  36. Heard at #GradSciComm : “All we do [as faculty] is train people to be clones of ourselves.” So, how to serve those not destined for faculty?
  37. Our next task at #GradSciComm workshop: review the survey of programs that already exist, connect key network nodes and break down silos
  38. Problem with a #GradSciComm database: becomes obsolete over time. Can we build a useful, dynamic platform that stays up to date?
  39. Do we really need a #GradSciComm database in order to scale up our efforts? Or would it just be nice to have?
  40. We need education standards and METRICS to measure effectiveness of #gradscicomm programs
  41. @SeaFieseler @Nancy_Baron 1st must recognize that for every PI, u need at least 3 perma-staff scis. Plz create these jobs. #gradscicomm
  42. @SeaFieseler @Nancy_Baron Getting the PIs to do EVERYTHING = harmful to research. Esp. heath research. #GradSciComm
  43. MT. OH at #gradscicomm : “Communication skills require emotional intelligence. That’s something academia tends to select out.” #scicomm #phd
  44. Heard at #gradscicomm “When scaling up #scicomm [for grad], how can a databse of course curricula serve that mission? Do we need it at all?”
  45. Thought-provoking convo on #gradscicomm this AM. How to give STEM grad students the com training they need? @NASciences @COMPASSonline
  46. What com’ns skills are “core competencies? What would sci grad comm students truly benefit from knowing,doing being? Thoughts? #gradscicomm
  47. Heard at #gradscicomm : “We need more soft skills…” [across room interruption] “At OUR university, we refrain from that ‘skills’ language.”
  48. @Nancy_Baron Networking – I have met so many grads that are frightened by it! It’s just talking to people & showing passion! #gradscicomm
  49. @Nancy_Baron Concise, jargon-free, general audience messaging. A la Elevator Pitch / @COMPASSonline Message Box! #gradscicomm #scicomm
  50. When all 29 participants were asked to write core science communication competencies, three wrote LISTENING. #gradscicomm
  51. Heard at #gradscicomm : “Dialogue in the midst of contention’ is a core competency. Keeping your cool in an intense situation is valuable.”
  52. Dialogue is more than parroting back what another says, means contributing new info and adapting yours. Key competency in #gradscicomm ?
  53. Big discussion here at #gradscicomm about whether #scicomm is unique from #comm. Thoughts?
  54. #gradscicomm soundbite: “We can’t forget that science is a human endeavor, just as much as hockey is a human endeavor’
  55. Scientists are trained for 10 years to strip their personality out of their work -now put it back & communicate.Cog dissonance #gradscicomm
  56. Key competencies in #GradSciComm: listening, dialogue, building trust, distilling complex topics, audience consideration, storytelling
  57. Proficiency in #scicomm skills requires: 1) training, 2) practice, and 3) feedback #gradscicomm Practice *doesn’t* make perfect otherwise
  58. Training, feedback and practice are all needed to improve #gradscicomm.
  59. How do we achieve,measure and credential proficiency in #gradscicomm? Training, practice, and feedback are essential. And of course buy in.
  60. Just giving opportunities to practice #SciComm will not result in improvment, esp if practicing wrong skills. Feedback crucial #GradSciComm
  61. how do you measure communications proficiency (effective communications)? is it like pornography, you know it when you see it? #gradscicomm
  62. MT @AmandaVincent1 CHONe students seek to be involved in policy. Unis must meet their prof’l develpt needs. #Oceans2020 #gradscicomm
  63. Interesting research question: at what point in the grad career is best to begin #gradscicomm training? How long btwn training sessions?
  64. #gradscicomm soundbite: “I can learn to shoot a person 1mi away, doesnt mean I want to. Is motivation what is missing from skill training?”
  65. The three legged stool of effective #gradscicomm Training, feedback, and practice!
  66. Should we be comparing a #gradscicomm to a standard + assessing improvment, or is it simply more important that audience gets the message?
  67. Do we need a national credential to demonstrate #SciComm proficiency? In some fields, no credentials, only portfolio of work #gradscicomm
  68. @DrCraigMc all 30 of us had quite a bit of consensus on what the core competencies of #gradscicomm should be, but not on how to evaluate
  69. #gradscicomm closing thoughts: “I have deep respect for rigorous evaluation but at end of day, comes down to ‘did I make something awesome’?
  70. Some “niggles” going around: none of this is new, not #sciComm prob it’s comm prob. What’s new is spreading it to the ranks #GradSciComm
  71. Do we need to create a position for a person in charge of “aligning the stars,” i.e. converging the powers to create change? #GradSciComm
  72. Done right, same ROI as Mad Ave MT @megminer: Big challenge: What’s the return on investment for #gradscicomm?