making science communication a conversation

RELATE is proud to announce it's latest project: A University of Michigan Teach-Out!

RELATE is proud to announce that we are partnering with the University of Michigan's Office of Academic Innovation and edX to host an event in a new series of Teach-Outs.

A Teach-Out is:

  • an event – it takes place over a fixed, short period of time

  • an opportunity – it is open for free participation to everyone around the world

  • a community – it will be joined by a large number of diverse individuals

  • a conversation – an opportunity to give and take ideas and information from people

The University of Michigan Teach-Out Series provides just-in-time community learning events for participants around the world to come together in conversation with the U-M campus community, including faculty experts. The U-M Teach-Out Series is part of our deep commitment to engage the public in exploring and understanding the problems, events, and phenomena most important to society.

Teach-Outs are short learning experiences, each focused on a specific current issue. Attendees will come together over a few days not only to learn about a subject or event but also to gain skills. Teach-Outs are open to the world and are designed to bring together individuals with wide-ranging perspectives in respectful and deep conversation. These events are an opportunity for diverse learners and a multitude of experts to come together to ask questions of one another and explore new solutions to the pressing concerns of our global community. Come, join the conversation!

Reach Out and RELATE: Communicating and Understanding Scientific Research

Everyone - non-scientists and scientists alike - has some form of expertise, but communicating across a gap in knowledge or experience is challenging. In this Teach-Out, we address this challenge by helping participants to develop core communication skills and more effectively communicate with one another.

Participants will learn why science communication is both essential and fundamentally challenging. Experts in three broad areas of public engagement with science - Policy & Advocacy, Education & Outreach, and Science in the Media - will weigh in to share their knowledge. Anyone with a STEM story to tell will have the opportunity to develop a better understanding of their audience, craft a clear message, weave a compelling story, and practice giving and receiving feedback on science communications. And all participants will be able to engage in a series of discussions addressing key issues in science communication.

Because the practice of science encourages dialogue, requires diverse perspectives, and has no political agenda, we hope this Teach-Out is a useful step in encouraging more science conversations between individuals and their local, national, and global communities.

In this Teach-Out, you'll:

  • Understand why science communication is both important and challenging

  • Develop strategies to effectively bridge communications between public audiences and scientific researchers

  • Understand expert perspectives on different areas of public engagement with science

  • Shape a compelling, message-focused STEM narrative for a specific audience

  • Discuss important issues in science communication with others

If you'd like to participate in Reach Out and RELATE, head over to the edX website to register.

Fill out the Sense About Science survey!

Sense About Science USA is collecting data using a short survey about early-career researchers and their views about their roles as communicators. They've reached out to RELATE to help collect data - if you don't mind sharing your perspectives for 5 minutes, they'd really appreciate it! More info below.


Dear colleagues,

We invite you to take a short, 5-7 minute survey from Sense About Science USA. Many early career scientists participate in outreach and communication activities geared toward engaging with non-scientists. We would like to better understand how and why graduate students, post-docs, and early-career scientists participate in such public engagement activities. Please share the link to this survey ( with your colleagues—feel free to post on listservs or send to relevant groups. We ask that you refrain from sharing on social media, as we want to prevent “troll” and “spam” responses and ensure that the results are true to the group.

Thank you,
Neda Afsarmanesh
Deputy Director
Sense About Science USA

About SAS USA: Sense About Science USA ( is a nonprofit (501c3) based in Brooklyn, New York; our mission is to create and curate a national conversation about the value of scientific progress and the importance of evidence and transparency.

Join RELATE's Communication Fundamentals Workshop!

Do you want to more effectively communicate your research?

This summer, Rackham Graduate School and the RELATE team invite you to participate in the RELATE communication training workshop for STEM researchers. If you are interested in improving your communication skills and engaging in scientific communication to lay-audiences, then the RELATE workshop is for you! Here are details of what you will gain during the 6 week Communication Fundamentals Workshop:

- Learn effective communication techniques in order to talk with lay-audiences about your research
- Build a polished elevator pitch and a short lay-audience style talk on an area of interest in your field
- Make a video of your talk that you can share as part of a professional portfolio (on social media, LinkedIn, etc.)

If you are a graduate student with a defined research project and are interested in participating in RELATE, please attend one of our required information sessions:

Required Information Sessions (and registration links):

4-5pm on Tuesday, May 10 in the Rackham Amphitheatre (

10-11am on Wednesday, May 11 in Lurie Engineering Center (

The information sessions will cover more details regarding the RELATE Communication Fundamentals Workshop itself and the application process. The Communication Fundamentals Workshop will be followed in late summer by the Advanced Oral Communication Workshop. Further details about this will also be provided at the information sessions. If you have any questions about the workshop or the information sessions, please e-mail us at We hope to see you on May 10th or 11th!