Communication Training

Scientists must go beyond publishing in peer-reviewed journals if they want their research to inform decisions about our future. Unfortunately, academic training seldom covers how to communicate with the press, the public, and policy makers. Fortunately, COMPASS can help. Our trainings help researchers shake bad habits so they can talk about what they do - and it why matters - in clear, lively terms. Our program is based on the intensive training we have provided for the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program since 2001.

Organizing a training

We work with scientists of all career stages and disciplines. Our typical group size is 20 people, and timing varies from one-half to three days. Every training is customized to the needs and interests of your group. The core curriculum demystifies the world of the media, explains why the cultures of science and journalism often clash, and gives you the basic tools to identify and clarify your main messages. Each participant receives a copy of our new book, Escape From the Ivory Tower, to reinforce and expand upon these concepts. We can also include a variety of in-depth and hands-on modules, such as:

Writing for Non-Scientists: Receive one-on-one coaching and suggestions for submitting your writing. Hands-on exercises include writing opinion pieces, crafting a story pitch for a magazine, or how to approach a journalist in writing.

Preparing for Policy Discussions: Learn about the world of policy makers and the role of science in the policy process, including how to get involved. Hands-on practice might include writing and practicing delivering public testimony or designing a one-page leave behind.

    Exploring Social Media: Learn what rapid changes in the media landscape mean for science communication and how you might get involved. Hands-on practice might include getting set up on Twitter, creating podcasts, or writing blog posts.

    To see how different universities have organized our recent trainings visit these sites by Colorado State University, Deep-C Consortium, University of Alberta, or The University of Hawai'i . To request a training or arrange a bulk purchase of our book for your group, please contact us.


    What our trainees say

    "Don't change a thing about the training.  I found it very useful in terms of tools, and inspiring from a personal and professional standpoint."

    “The training was really fantastic. It was incredibly valuable to hear perspectives and be drilled with mock interviews by the very best in the business. I feel so fortunate for the networking opportunities as well. I expect this is going to really amp up my ability to reach more people over the rest of my career. Thanks so much for a career-changing experience!”

    “I really feel like you guys have COMPLETELY changed me. It's been a fantastic experience overall and I really can't thank you and the other trainers enough.”

    “I wanted to thank you for the excellent work you did. As this was my first direct media event, I was quite a bit concerned about my ability to ‘do it’. But all your help, suggestions, advice and friendly, professional approach made it even a pleasure.”

    “Thanks for presenting one of the most useful workshops I’ve had the pleasure to attend. I learned a great deal and it will be a great help to me in getting my message communicated to the media. I thought the workshop was really informative, fun, and more than met my expectations. I liked learning about other people’s work, as well as learning how to communicate better. Thanks for making it possible.”