SciComm 101: Empowering Anyone and Everyone to Engage with Science

Simone Renwick | April 05, 2021


On March 25th, 2021, Science to Business Network (S2BN) Guelph Chapter held a virtual event with renowned figure Dr. Samantha Yammine a.k.a. Science Sam!

Science Sam is a Neuroscientist and Science Communicator who earned her PhD from the University of Toronto studying how stem cells build and maintain the brain. She is the founder of Science Sam Media, a science media company that produces engaging science content on anything science, anywhere and everywhere – including ringside at a sparring gym, on Toronto's busiest intersections, and a live stream with an astronaut in space!


What is Science Communication?


Science communication, or SciComm, is the use of appropriate skills, media, activities, and dialogue to share science-related knowledge to a non-expert audience. Good SciComm is compelling, inspirational, memorable, and clear.


Tips from Science Sam for effective SciComm:


1. Define your goal… What are you trying to say?


2. Define your audience…. Why should they care?


3. Get emotional…. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” - Maya Angelou.


4. Keep it simple and avoid jargon …clarity is more important than sounding smart.


5. Tell a story …start with a hook, reel your audience in, make it memorable.


But bear in mind that sometimes the rules don’t apply. Something great can be born from colouring outside of the lines. A piece might be weird but awesome and memorable.


Other science communicators recommended by Science Sam:

  • Dr. Danielle N. Lee – “How Hip Hop Helps Us Understand Science”

  • Alex Lathbridge – “Why aren’t you a doctor yet?”

  • Emily Calandrelli – “Making Science Nicer, Stupid”

  • Dyna Cockus (@DynaCockusRose on Instagram and Twitter)

  • Raven the Science Maven on Youtube

  • Annie Sorrell and Loga Fixico – NDN Science Show

  • Still Processing – “We Got Goop’d”

Get in touch with Science Sam or learn more at heysciencesam.com, follow @science.sam on Instagram or @heysciencesam on Twitter.


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