Science Communication

Duke faculty, take a course to learn how to communicate your science to the media and policymakers.


Bring Science Communication Workshops to your Institution

Funding is scarce. Anti-science rhetoric is on the rise. Policymakers often fail to grasp the research necessary to make informed decisions in the best interests of their constituents. But empirical data suggest that good science communication both empowers citizens and benefits the careers of scientists.

The Duke Initiative for Science and Society hosts the SciComm Fellows Program, which provides an opportunity for faculty and postdocs to develop communication skills and put those skills into action. Click here for a Duke Today article featuring the program or click here to read how faculty have benefited from this program.

On three Fridays this fall, 24 Fellows (faculty and postdocs) will:

  • Explore the empirical benefits of communicating science
  • Develop speaking, writing, and storytelling practices for diverse audiences
  • Learn to answer difficult, controversial, and critical questions from the media
  • Tweet, blog, write op-eds, and present their research to engage the lay public
  • Prepare policy briefs
  • Engage with policymakers and funders

Training sessions will include work with experts in science communication, media, narrative, and policy, as well as hands-on spoken and written exercises across multiple platforms. As part of a diverse class, Fellows will develop skills essential to doing meaningful outreach with real impacts, including opportunities to brief policymakers, write op-eds, give public talks to lay audiences, and participate in media interviews.

All regular-rank faculty members and postdoctoral fellows in the STEM disciplines are eligible, but admission is competitive.


Three Fridays this Fall:

  • September 16
  • October 7
  • October 28

The first two sessions will run from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM and will include continental breakfast and lunch.  The third session will run from 12:00 PM to 5:30 PM, will include lunch and will conclude with a Happy Hour during which participants will have the opportunity to practice the skills they developed over the course of the three workshops.


The workshops will be held at the Duke Initiative for Science & Society’s facility in the Erwin Mill Building (2024 West Main Street, Bay A, Second Floor).  We’re located on 9th and Main Streets (between East and West Campus), with ample visitor parking.

How do I apply?

The application deadline for this year has passed. Please consider applying again next year.

How much does it cost?

Science & Society covers the $750 tuition costs for the program if Fellows participate in all three sessions. However, as is consistent with Duke University policy for professional development activities, Fellows will be charged for the cost of each missed session ($250/session).  All admitted applicants must provide a fund code to which any missed-session costs will be charged.


Email Dr. Jory Weintraub at jory(at)duke(dot)edu.

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