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Conferences and workshops

Science: Becoming the Messenger

About the series

*All confirmed registrants will participate in Day One on November 17th and a specially selected number of registrants will also participate in the half-day session on Day Two, November 18th.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will be holding a one and a half-day workshop, "Science: Becoming the Messenger," on Nov. 17 & 18, 2010, at the Marvin Conference Center on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

We are extending an invitation to principal investigators, early career researchers and engineers, graduate students, postdocs, and public information officers who would like to attend this workshop in order to learn more about communicating science to news media and the general public.

Across academia and the research community today, there is a growing interest in science communication. Scientists are asking how they can more effectively communicate to the media and public--how their knowledge can accurately get across in an increasingly challenging information environment.

Seminars and training workshops are, accordingly, springing up to meet this need. But never before has there been a team like the one NSF has assembled to help members of the scientific community at all levels become more effective messengers.

Featuring three accomplished communicators and trainers--Emmy award winning television producer Joe Schreiber, former PBS executive Dan Agan, and bestselling science author Chris Mooney--the NSF workshop, "Science: Becoming the Messenger," provides one-stop shopping for those seeking to reach a broader public about their work.

Over the course of this full day training, participants will learn how to craft a message and deliver it to a variety of media outlets. They will have the opportunity to experience live interview training, to develop writing and new media skills, to hone their public presentations, and even to produce video.

For the ambitious researchers specially selected to participate for a second half day, their messages will be developed further and translated into an appropriate medium to be taken public. Some scientists will leave the workshop with publishable blog posts, op-eds, YouTube videos--and more.

There is no registration fee to attend but pre-registration will be required.  The workshop includes a continental breakfast and lunch on Day One and a continental breakfast on Day Two.  We encourage you to let us know as soon as possible if you'd like to attend by completing the registration form and questionnaire.  This workshop is very popular and tends to fill up fast.

The registration deadline is Friday, November 12, 2010.  All participants must select the Day One Session and if you wish to be considered for the Day Two Session, please select it as well.   

****Please make sure to also complete the questionnaire by selecting the link at the top of the registration form.****




Mattmar Productions President Joe Schreiber helped launch and produce NBC's George Michael Sports Machine. The program aired for 23 years, making it the longest running locally produced, nationally syndicated sports show in television history. The heart of the program was the human interest features, produced to appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers. As field producer, and later senior producer, Joe traveled the world, cultivating relationships in the fields of television, film, digital media, public relations, marketing, sports, and entertainment. He built a model for production that is based on trusted relationships and uncompromising production values; it was a way of life that set the industry standard. Joe earned 11 Emmy awards and was inducted into the Class of 2008 Greater Washington DC Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.




Dan Agan is president of Panthera Group LLC, a marketing communications firm specializing in architecting and implementing cogent, media-oriented marketing and communications programs that successfully inform, inspire, and influence mission-critical publics.  He is a former network television programming and marketing executive, marketing officer for publicly-traded technology companies, broadcast journalist, television producer/director, and public relations consultant.  He continues to produce and direct programs for television and the web.

Agan has served as the principal spokesperson for both non-profit and private sector companies, been interviewed countless times by the press, conducted dozens of press conferences, delivered public presentations for audiences large and small, and coached CEOs and senior executives on dealing effectively with the media.  He has worked with a broad range of organizations, corporations and government agencies including PBS, AOL, AARP, Octel Communications, Discovery Communications, the National Science Foundation, Edge Technologies, Excalibur Technologies, the Metropolitan Opera Association (New York), Fleishman-Hillard Public Relations, and the Direct Marketing Association.




Chris Mooney is a bestselling science journalist and commentator and the author of three books, most recently Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future (co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum). Chris is also a host of the Point of Inquiry podcast, was recently seen on BBC 2 guest hosting a segment of "The Culture Show," and blogs for Discover magazine. In the past, he has been a visiting associate in the Center for Collaborative History at Princeton University, a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, and a Templeton-Cambridge Fellow in Science and Religion.

Mooney's work has been featured regularly by the national media, including appearances on The Daily Show With Jon StewartThe Colbert ReportMSNBC's "Morning Joe," CSPAN's Book TV, and NPR's Fresh Air With Terry Gross and Science Friday (here and here), among many other television and radio programs. Among other accolades, in 2005 Chris was named one of Wired magazine's ten "sexiest geeks." His articles have appeared in numerous publications and were selected for Best American Science and Nature Writing 2006 and Best American Science Writing 2010

Past events in this series