Explore tip sheets, guides and articles to learn more about engaging with the media, crafting lay-friendly and engaging talking points about your scientific discoveries, and getting support from the communications team at The Graduate Center.
CUNY Science Communications ToolKit
The CUNY SciComms Toolkit is an online resource for CUNY STEM students, created by GC Science Communications Fellows to provide tools for honing science communication skills at every level.
Resources by Topic
Need help fine tuning your interview skills and messaging complex science to lay audience? We can help. Send us a note if you’d like to schedule one-on-one media training.
Science Media Databases of STEM Experts
The following databases provide science writers and other journalists with access to a variety of experts in STEM fields. If you are interested in engaging with media through story interviews and media briefings, submit your information to the ones that fit your profile and interests.
- SciLine – AAAS’ database of science experts for journalists
- Diverse Sources – a database dedicated to promoting the voices and expertise representing a broad range of ethnicities, races, gender and sexual identities, socio-economic status and physical differences
- Expert Finder – a database of faculty experts in a variety of disciplines
- Women In STEM – Created by the professional advocacy organization 500 Women Scientists, this database focuses on increasing the expert voices and representation of women scientists in the media
- She Source – Created by the Women’s Media Center, this service provides journalists with access to women who can provide expertise and analysis across a broad range of issue areas, including the sciences
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Communication Toolkit
This Communication Toolkit provides guidance for scientists to build skills to more effectively communicate and engage with public audiences, including ways to apply the fundamentals of communication to scientific topics. Sections that may be of particular interest include:
- Working with Journalists – Media Interviews
“Interviews with reporters can be intimidating. Prepare remarks ahead of time and anticipate likely questions to boost your confidence before an interview.”
- Working with Journalists – TV & Radio Media Tips
“Radio and TV interviews can be exciting, but they require a little more preparation than interviews for print stories. Practice speaking slowly, enunciating, making eye contact, and other non-verbal behavior/body language, to help you sound and look natural on the radio or TV.”
- Working with Journalists – Tips for Scientists Communicating with the Press
Science journalist Bethany Halford offers tips and advice from her 14-year career to scientists communicating with the press.
Tip Sheet: Communicating Science to the Public
Rules for communicating your scientific research to the general public whether you’re speaking or writing
Tip Sheet: Engaging All Audiences with Science
Key concepts and ideas for reflecting on your STEM experience through the eyes of your audience
Worksheet: Creating Your Talking Points
Five questions to help you develop a concise, lay-friendly explanation of your scientific research. Includes a real-life example for reference.
Worksheet: Prepping for an ASRC Science Café Talk
Designed to guide scientists who plan to participate in the ASRC’s weekly Science Café Talks, during which researchers have about five minutes to explain their work to a mixed audience of varying backgrounds, completing this worksheet may be a helpful exercise for other situations in which you will need to communicate with the general public.
Guide: Writing an Op-Ed
“Consider writing a newspaper op-ed, or opinion story, which can be an effective channel for direct communication with the public, in order to achieve specific public engagement with science goals. Op-eds provide a forum for injecting scientific information and/or viewpoints into a pressing issue, or to advocate for a specific policy aim.”
From the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Communication Toolkit
Tool/Service: Science Sketches
Science Sketches are short, accessible videos — made by scientists — about scientific research across the globe. Browse the videos on this site for inspiration, then use the Science Sketches guide (PDF) to create and submit your own.
Video Inspiration: 5 Levels
In this video series from WIRED, an expert explains complex subjects in five levels of complexity. Use these videos as a guide for translating your research to a wide range of audiences.
Survey: Scientists’ incentives and attitudes toward public communication (2019)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Scientists Need to Talk to the Public (And plenty of resources are available to help them learn how to do it well) (2019)
Scientific American Blog Network
Restarting the conversation: challenges at the interface between ecology and society (2010)
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
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