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Scientific American and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University Announce Online Writing Workshop for Scientists

Scientific American and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University Announce Online Writing Workshop for Scientists

Scientists and engineers can apply now for free online workshop and mentoring focused on publishing blogs and op-eds for magazines, newspapers and other news outlets

Stony Brook, NY, 
June 26, 2017

— Expert voices are needed more than ever in conversations of national and global importance. Scientists can help people understand the many ways that science shapes our lives and our understanding of the world—and, critically, their evidence-based findings and perspective can help in creating sound, scientifically informed public policy.

Scientific American and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University are teaming on an online workshop aimed at helping scientists and engineers write blogs and op-eds for magazines, newspapers and other news outlets. Presented in partnership with The Kavli Foundation, two dozen scientists will receive mentoring on writing over this fall and next spring, with successful assignments to be considered for publication as a Scientific American guest blog. The program will culminate with a special gathering in New York City in Fall 2018, where course participants will network with instructors, science communication experts and peers as well as staff from the Alda Center and Scientific American.

Free to scientists and engineers, participants will be selected competitively, with the application process opening today. For more information and to apply, visit

“Science is a global enterprise, with an ambition—and ability—to address some of humanity’s most challenging problems,” said Scientific American Editor in Chief, Mariette DiChristina. “Scientific American, with more than 170 years of authoritative coverage about the progress of science often authored by the researchers themselves, is delighted to partner with the Alda Center and Kavli on this initiative to support scientists and science communication.”

“When we help scientists to be more open, they begin to talk about their work in a deeply personal way. And people want to hear the personal stories behind the research. What happened in those difficult moments in the small hours of the morning? That’s the part we can connect to,” said Alan Alda, founder of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. “Our Alda Center team is excited to partner with Scientific American to develop a blogging course that will produce a new cohort of excellent science storytellers. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.”

“Promoting public understanding of science is central to the mission of The Kavli Foundation,” said Robert Conn, President and CEO. “Scientific American has been a leader in helping the public understand and appreciate science for well over a century. Alan Alda is a star who is trusted by the public, and he has a deep passion about communications and science. This passion is reflected in the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. We are simply delighted to join these two great organizations as they work to help scientists become the best communicators to the public of their own scientific work.”

This online workshop and mentoring program will be a companion to a new and open web series to debut this fall that is co-produced by the three partners. During this 10-week public series, valuable insights into science writing and communication will be presented by the editors and writers at Scientific American, the Alda Center and a selection of special guest speakers. Program details for this series will be announced in September.

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About the Partners

Scientific American – Scientific American is the longest continuously published magazine in the U.S., and has been bringing its readers unique insights about developments in science and technology for more than 170 years. The award-winning authoritative source for the science discoveries and technology innovations that matter, more than 150 Nobel laureates have written for Scientific American. It publishes in 14 local language editions and is read in more than 30 countries. Scientific American has 3.5 million print and tablet readers worldwide, 7.5 million global online unique visitors monthly, and a social media reach of 3.5+ million.

Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University – Established by renowned actor, writer, director and communication pioneer Alan Alda, the Alda Center is leading the way to develop new and effective methods for training scientists to tell their stories and engage the public, policy makers, funders and others outside their own disciplines. Over 8,000 scientists around the world have been trained by the Center’s instruction team. The Alda Method is grounded in improvisational theater, which inspires authenticity, connection and spontaneity rather than prescribed body language and tone of voice.

The Kavli Foundation – Established in 2000, The Kavli Foundation is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity and promoting increased public understanding and support for scientists and their work. The Foundation’s mission is implemented through an international program of research institutes, professorships, symposia and other initiatives in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience and theoretical physics. The Foundation also supports programs aimed at empowering the communication of science to the public, including the online Alda-Kavli Learning Center for Science Communication. It is also a founding partner of the international Kavli Prizes.

About Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 25,700 students, 2,500 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.

Reporter Contact:  Alida Almonte, 631 632-6310

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