In June two representatives from the BBHI attended the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University’s Summer Intensive. The Center, the brainchild of veteran actor Alan Alda, has a mission of enhancing “understanding of science by helping train the next generation of scientists and health professionals to communicate more effectively with the public, public officials, the media, and others outside their own discipline.”
The summer intensive is designed to immerse attendees in the Center’s curriculum and allow them to bring that curriculum back to their own Universities to train faculty, staff and students. Attendees of the intensive learn the core skills of distilling/simplifying complicated scientific and health messages and better connecting with audiences through improvisational exercises. The BBHI invested in the intensive after receiving consistent feedback from community partners about the difficulty scientists and clinicians had communicating their work clearly and simply.
The intensive was attended by the BBHI Community Liaison and UNM HSC School of Pharmacy's John Weaver, PhD. Dr. Weaver attended after winning a poster contest for his ability to clearly communicate his science at Neuroscience Day in March, which was sponsored by the UNM Department of Neuroscience and the BBHI. Dr. Weaver has begun teaching what they learned at the Center to UNM graduate students and has plans for expanding the classes to additional students and faculty in the near future.
To learn more about the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science you can go to their website at http://www.centerforcommunicatingscience.org/