Platform demonstrates ways to apply science communication research to real-world practice
Stony Brook’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science this month launched an initiative that will link science communication research to professional practice. The platform, The Link, features research synopses, webinars and other content from science communication professionals from around the country.
“Science communication is a broad field that incorporates many disciplines from across the social sciences. The diversity of experts means it can be difficult to know where to find the latest research, much less how to apply it to everyday science communication,” said Laura Lindenfeld, executive director of the Alda Center and dean of the School of Communication and Journalism. “The Link, developed with generous support from the Kavli Foundation, will help to address these gaps, first by making information accessible and second by connecting it to practice.”
The idea for the platform came about through a conversation with the Science Communication Trainers Network, as an outgrowth of a survey about scientists’ willingness to engage.
The Link was developed over many months through conversations with science communication researchers, professionals and those who train others in effective science communication. Those conversations, and several subsequent surveys, helped Alda Center staff better understand what the community wants, and what formats they would find most useful.
“I am deeply grateful to all who helped us brainstorm and develop this platform, and our growing number of contributors,” said Claire Holesovsky, the Alda Center’s science communication specialist, who developed and will maintain The Link. “With the pandemic and the climate crisis, we are seeing an incredible increase in interest in science communication, and I am eager to see The Link help people engage with this growing community and improve their science communication knowledge and abilities.”
The Link’s searchable posts include information for individuals who are new to science communication; synopses of recent research; and information on in-demand topics such as data visualization, social media and inclusive communication.
“The Kavli Foundation has wanted a platform like this for many years, and we are delighted to see it taking shape at the Alda Center, one of our nation’s leading science communication training organizations,” said Brooke Smith, director of public engagement with science at the Kavli Foundation. “The diverse perspectives that are already coming together on The Link will make this platform a valuable source of information and engagement for science communication researchers and trainers, as well as scientists who are eager to forge stronger connections with others beyond their disciplines.”