Schedule: Track 2
The Track 2 workshop is for scientists who have relatively little experience in communicating about complex science to people outside their field, such as policymakers, the press or general lay audiences.
  • Day 1 (September 26) - Keynote 7-9pm (Optional)
  • Day 2 (September 27) - Improving fundamental skills
  • Day 3 (September 28) - Applying Skills

Program: track 2 [PDF]

September 26, 2013 - Thursday (Optional)
 Keynote (Optional)RSVP Required
7:00 PM"Helping the Public Get Beyond a Blind Date With Science"
Alan Alda
Why is it important to communicate about science, and how can scientists do it better? What are the challenges for people representing their institutions or presenting their work to public officials, funders, the press and other groups? Alan Alda will share insights and challenges, drawing on his personal experiences.
Open by reservation to the University of Chicago community.
Location: Perfomance Hall

September 27, 2013 - Friday
 Improving fundamental skillsLocation: 901 Penthouse
8:30 AM - 9:30 PMWhat is the meaning of this?
Alan Alda, Howard Schneider and Liz Bass
An introduction to the program: A group exercise in conveying the meaning of complex information so non-scientists can understand.
9:30 AM - 12:30 PMImprovisation for Scientists
Lydia Franco-Hodges and Steve Marsh
Improvisational theater exercises require you to pay close, dynamic attention to others, to read body language and nonverbal cues, and to respond freely. This is not about acting or making things up. It is about shifting your focus from what you are saying to what the other person is receiving. This can help you make a more direct and personal connection with your audience.
Location: refer to attached ''Group List'' for your room assignment
12:30 PM - 1:30 PMLunch & Group Photo
Location: 6th floor foyer
1:30 PM - 2:30 PMIntroduction to Distilling Your Message
Howard Schneider & Liz Bass
Speaking clearly and conversationally about science, without jargon or 'dumbing it down,'' is a challenge. This interactive presentation suggests tools and examples to help scientists communicate in ways that resonate with non-scientists.
Location: Room 603
2:30 PM - 5:30 PMDistilling Your Message breakout sessions
Meeting in small groups, we will work on engaging listeners, using different approaches and using the power of storytelling to communicate in memorable ways.
Location: refer to attached ''Group List'' for your room assignment
5:30 PM - 6:00 PMFeedback on the day
Location: Room 601
Location: School of Social Service Administration, 969 E. 60th Street

September 28, 2013 - Saturday
 Applying Skills
9:30 AM - 12:00 PMImprov II - Improv Applications
Lydia Franco-Hodges and Steve Marsh
Participants will work on applying the skills of Improvisation and Distilling Your Message in different settings. This includes building physical confidence and using role-playing to help participants deliver their message to their favorite -- and least favorite -- audiences.
Location: refer to attached ''Group List'' for your room assignment
12:00 PM - 1:00 PMLunch
Location: 6th floor foyer
1:00 PM - 3:30 PMMedia Interview Skills
We'll practice doing a television interview, answering questions clearly and briefly. This is a challenging form of Distilling Your Message. The interviews will be recorded on video for immediate playback.
Location: refer to attached ''Group List'' for your room assignment
3:30 PM - 4:30 PMReflecting on Our Experiences
We'll look at participants' choices and progress made, and discuss how participants can continue to work on their skills and how we might continue to work together.
Location: Room 603
4:30 PM - 5:00 PMBeyond the Workshop: Opportunities & Resources
presentation by Julie Peterson, U Chicago VP for communications
Location: Room 603