making science communication a conversation

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!

Proceedings from the Michigan Meeting on Academic Engagement in Public and Political Discourse

Last May, Andy Hoffman and others hosted the Michigan Meeting on Academic Engagement in Public and Political Discourse. Several members of our fabulous RELATE community helped to scribe for the meeting, and the proceedings have officially been published! Congrats Andy, Kirsti, Peter, Andy, Veronica, and Corrine! Take a look at the Proceedings book: to purchase a physical copy of the report (100 pages) or download a free copy, please go to Michigan Publishing.  

Dr. Jean-Luc Doumont on Conveying Messages with Graphs (Waitlist)

There is a workshop by Dr. Jean-luc Doumont coming up on September 28th that we wanted to make you aware of (see below). Note that the event is already full; however, this has happened before with Dr. Doumont's presentations, and if demand is high they will sometimes change location to allow people from the waitlist to attend. We encourage you to register for the waitlist if you're interested.

Dr. Doumont is a highly recommended speaker, we have thoroughly enjoyed his presentations in the past. He is opinionated about the ways in which scientific communication should occur, and his presentations are usually engaging and informative. We hope that you'll attend one of his presentations if given the opportunity.

FULL (Join the Waitlist): Conveying Messages with Graphs: A Presentation by Jean-luc Doumont

Monday, September 28, 2015
1:30-3:30 pm
Lurie Engineering Center, Johnson Rooms

Graphical displays are poorly mastered by researchers, who often use the wrong graphs or use them in the wrong way. During Dr. Jean-luc Doumont’s talk, he will discuss how to select the right graph for a given data set and research question, how to optimize the graph's construction to reveal the data, and how to phrase a useful caption. Dr. Doumont is an international speaker on this topic and is the author of "Trees, maps, and theorems: Effective communication for rational minds.”