Sci Comm 101: Identifying Your Audience and Crafting Your Story

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KC RiBS is excited to present a two-day workshop highlighting methods to identify and expand your audience as well as tips on how to engage with them using storytelling to effectively communicate your science. Each day will feature unique programming and we encourage participation for both days.

All workshops and events for both days are FREE. In addition, we will offer a roundtable discussion with the presenters that will include free lunches on both days (limited to 30 participants each day).

Thursday, May 2nd

Stowers Institute for Medical Research

1000 E. 50th Street, Kansas City, MO 64110


9:45AM-10:00AM Introduction

10:00AM - 12:00PM Workshop Session 1

Connecting with Diverse Audiences

This workshop trains participants to speak about science effectively and responsively with multiple audiences. The exercises, borrowed from improvisational theater, help participants practice connecting with an audience, paying dynamic attention to others, reading nonverbal cues, and responding to questions appropriately.

12:00PM-1:30PM Lunch

*Participant sign-up round table lunches. Each speaker will host a table of 10 participants.

1:45PM-4:15PM Workshop Session 2 & Panel Discussion

Almost Famous: Getting Your Research Noticed

Scientific communication has never been more important, but how can you make your research and your voice stand out from the crowd? This presentation will provide practical advice on how to get your message out to broader audiences. Topics covered include establishing a web presence, cultivating a personal brand, engaging the press, and leveraging social media.

4:00PM-6PM Reception in the Library, hosted by Stowers Crossroads Committee

*Heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer served.

Friday, May 3rd:

KU Medical Center

3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66160


9:15AM-11:45AM Workshop Session 3

Distilling Your Message

This workshop introduces principles of clear communication and features experiential exercises through which participants practice speaking clearly and vividly about science in ways lay audiences can understand and appreciate. The session includes practice defining communication goals, identifying main points, explaining meaning and context, responding to questions, and using storytelling techniques to enliven messages.

12PM-1:30PM Lunch

*Participant sign-up round table lunches. Each speaker will host a table of 10 participants.

1:45-4:00PM Workshop Session 4 & Panel Discussion

Science and Medical Writing: From Blogs to Books

This presentation provides the tools and inspiration you need to achieve your science communication goals, especially if you want to become a science writer. We will discuss how and why you should blog about science, and how to expand into writing about science in magazines and books. Drawing on personal experiences, National Geographic author Bill Sullivan will describe his journey from science blogging to landing a book deal.

Workshop Leaders:

Krista Hoffman-Longtin, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, and an Assistant Dean in the Indiana University School of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. Her work focuses on communication education, faculty development and organizational/professional identity. Her work has been published in Academic Medicine, To Improve the Academy, and the Journal of Faculty Development.

Jason Organ, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where his research examines how bone and muscle structure influences how they work. He has published over 25 peer-reviewed research papers on evolutionary and mechanical adaptations of bone and muscle, and over 40 peer-reviewed teaching modules in digital human anatomy references. Jason is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Anatomists and has used this position to advocate for the importance of effective science communication and public outreach.

Bill Sullivan, PhD, is the Showalter Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Microbiology & Immunology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he studies gene expression in infectious diseases. He has published over 70 academic papers in scientific journals and written articles for Scientific American, Scientific American MIND,,,, Dumb Little Man, ASBMB Today, and more. Bill also serves on the Advisers Team for the Epigenetics Literacy Project, and is the author of the upcoming book Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are from National Geographic Books.

Event Sponsors:

K-INBRE, BioKansas, Stowers Crossroads Committee, KUMC Postdoc Association

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