Over the past few months, my own pet project has been the creation of a series of Lifeology “flashcard” courses on the topic of science communication. I’ve been working with dozens of other science communicators, SciComm researchers and illustrators to create the content for those courses, with many new courses on the horizon. Today, we are launching a number of these courses as part of our Lifeology University SciComm Program!

We designed this (free!) program to help busy researchers and practitioners, from science communicators to clinicians to health educators to artists, learn the science, theory and practice of science communication.

The need for communication training is growing within the scientific community, both inside and outside of academia. Scientists are increasingly aware of the need and value for SciComm in their careers, to promote their work and to engage the public. But as a busy scientist or science communicator, you might struggle to find time for communicaiton training and to find self-paced, affordable and online resources that are not overly technical. We created this program for YOU.

This program also features content created in collaboration with researchers as well as practitioners and artists, for a very important reason. Over the last 30 to 40 years, science communication has expanded and matured as a field of practice and research. We’ve seen growth in the number of university courses and training programs around science communication. However, there is a significant communication gap between those who research science communication and help to inform evidence-based practice, and practitioners. Science communication resources are also concentrated at universities and research organizations in the developed world and in the English language.

We designed this program to help address these gaps. All of the educational content in this program is based upon scholarly evidence from the fields of communication, psychology, marketing and others, but translated into practical advice by artists and science storytellers. Myself and our program reviewer Alice Fleerackers work to ensure that every course has a strong foundation in peer-reviewed research findings. We are also translating the educational content in this program into multiple languages including Spanish and Chinese.

Continue to learn more about our SciComm program below!

An graphic showing cards from scicomm Lifeology courses

What is the Lifeology University SciComm Program?

This program is an online, self-paced and free resource composed of digestible “flashcard” courses – each one custom illustrated so as to also expose you to more artists! The program covers a variety of science communication topics with a focus on helping you create compelling, inclusive, story-driven and ethical science communication for broader audiences.

New courses will be launched monthly throughout 2021 (and beyond!) Activities at the end of each course can be completed and submitted to our Lifeology team for feedback and to earn visual badges and a Lifeology Certified Science Communicator certificate! You can sign up to learn more about that.

How do I get started learning?

You can get started anytime by viewing our available courses here!

What if I fall behind?

That’s perfectly OK! In fact, you can’t really “fall behind” because this program is self-paced and you can view courses and complete post-course activities and submit them for feedback at any time! We will release new courses monthly along with related resources and science communication challenges, but you can always revisit these resources!

Will you help me apply what I learn?

Yes! We help you apply what you learn in our SciComm Program Lifeology courses by providing activity prompts at the end of each course! You can submit your completed activities to us via e-mail at Lifeology@lifeomic.com. We will respond with feedback! We will also be releasing monthly Science Communication Challenges on the Lifeology.io blog and holding discussions in the Lifeology Slack Workspace that will reinforce learnings from courses you take in this program.

What course topics will you be releasing in the future?

Here are just some of the courses that you can expect to see in this program over the next few months!

  • What the science of science communication is all about (and how to apply it)
  • How to write about science for kids
  • History of Science Communication
  • Ethics in Science Communication
  • How to tell more inclusive stories about science
  • The art of succinct short-form science writing
  • Empathy in Science Communication
  • How to prepare for a science-art collaboration
  • and more!

Can I get involved in course creation?

Yes! We are excited to work with artists, SciComm researchers and communicators to create new courses for this program on an ongoing basis. Reach out to paige.jarreau@lifeomic.com to get involved! Let me know what topics you are particularly passionate about creating resources or art around.

Help us share the word!

SciComm program banner illustration - The program is free and features content created by scicomm experts