Learn how to engage and inform decision-makers

Rarely has the need for effective and influential communication about science been more important than it is today.

Politicians and political interests are redefining and reinterpreting science--with great persistence and impact. The public is routinely asked to make decisions about matters informed by science. The news media is endeavoring to share increasingly complex stories about science with the public. The majority of the public still respect scientists and value science, but they often find it challenging to discern who and what is legitimate.

Boot Camp for Scientist

Simply adding to the noise will not provide individuals with the understanding they need to inform deliberations and decisions. Scientists must become more skilled at communicating in impactful ways.

As called for by many sources, the time for business as usual has passed. There is a real and immediate need for scientists to become effective and engaged communicators.

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is responding to this need by offering scientists a professional development opportunity. The AIBS Communications Training Boot Camp for Scientists expands on our highly successful media and science policy training workshops. The program meets the needs of everyone from graduate students to senior researchers and program administrators.

AIBS has a long and successful track record of engaging, informing, and influencing the public and science policy decision-makers. Our audiences include members of Congress, federal agency heads and program managers, state officials, and university administrators. In addition to working directly with these groups, we routinely engage the public through traditional and digital media.

Our staff members have used their decades of science policy and communications experience to develop training materials and resources that provide scientists with the skills needed to successfully communicate about their research with decision-makers and reporters.

AIBS training programs have provided more than 1,200 scientists with the skills to:

  1. Inform decision-makers;
  2. Communicate their science to the public;
  3. Translate their research for reporters;
  4. Increase public awareness of their research; and
  5. Develop the leadership skills necessary to pursue careers in science policy and organizational leadership.

AIBS Communications Boot Camp

The Boot Camp is an intensive, two-day, hands-on training program in Washington, DC.

Participants will learn:

  • How to communicate science to non-technical audiences
  • How to tell a resonant story that informs decision-makers
  • How to prepare for and participate in a news interview
  • How to prepare for and engage in a meeting with a decision-maker
  • How to protect your scientific reputation
  • How to identify and define the audience you need to reach
  • What decision-makers want to hear from a scientist
  • What reporters are looking for in an interview
  • How to leverage social media
  • How the nation's science policy is developed and implemented

Participants will have the opportunity for formal and informal discussions with science policy and communications experts working in Washington, DC. Read the course outline.

Participants receive
  • Certificate of completion
  • Resource packet that includes publications and other materials for future reference and use
  • Invitation to participate in a Communications Boot Camp alumni network

"Taking the AIBS Communications Bootcamp for Scientists gave me greater enthusiasm and confidence to reach out to policy makers and to put more effort into communicating my science. From learning about different modes of communication and how we can answer difficult questions, to hearing from external panel members on the pace of policy communications and how university communications department operates and to obtaining a basic understanding of congressional funding and how we communicate with their staff members, this essential course is necessary for anyone who wants to participate or improve the way they talk about science and its benefits. The engaging mock scenarios provided important practice and insights on how to communicate to the lay public and congressional staffers. What was really exciting for me was to be able to utilize what I learned over the two days and to put it into practice that week by visiting two congressional staffers on the Hill!"

Holly Vuong
2017 Participant

AIBS will offer this course again in 2018. Please provide your contact information and we will alert you before the next program is announced.

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