Do it Yourself: Build your Business in Freelance Science Communication
Do you want to grow your business as a freelance science communicator? Whether you freelance as a side hustle, or you’re looking to make the jump into a full-time freelance career, this course will give you some essential tools and insights including:
- Get tech savvy: learn the basics of website design, professional social media presence, email newsletters, and personal branding.
- Grow your network: learn what approaches actually work for making professional connections and getting hired for science communication projects.
- Get paid: learn how to establish your rates, know your worth, and find resources to help you navigate the self-employment world, from taxes to accounting to financial planning.
- Keep it real: recognize that full-time freelance work is tough at times. Engage in thoughtful discussions about overcoming insecurities, coping with self-doubt or uncertainty, and building confidence and community.
Instructor: Marley Parker
Marley Parker has spent the past decade working as a professional science communicator. At the beginning of 2018, Marley left her full-time position at a research university to start her own business as a freelance photographer, videographer, and science writer. When she is not documenting science in remote parts of the world, Marley loves sharing what she has learned from being a freelancer and pursuing an unconventional career path.
Get Found in Google – SEO for Science Communicators
You’ve got your article, blog, or website ready to post. But will anyone see it after you publish? This course will teach you how to use search engine data to expand the reach of your online science communication. You’ll learn basic search engine optimization skills (keyword research, on-page keyword use, and hyperlinking). With these skills, you will be able to find out what language the public uses when searching on science questions and how to use that language in your writing to signal to search engine algorithms to return your article when the public does these searches. We will also cover how to link to other websites in your online writing to make sure good science is at the top of those search results, how and why to build links to your articles and websites, and why these skills are so important to science communication.
Instructor: Dr. Effie Greathouse
This course is run by Dr. Effie Greathouse. Dr. Greathouse holds a B.S. in wildlife, fish, and conservation biology from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia. She is currently the director of Digital Resources for Community and Science.
Advice for Talking Science with Anyone
Learning about effective communication is easy. Actually following through and communicating effectively…well, not so much. Scientists are brilliant and attentive people but they seem to stumble on the simple nuances of how most people talk day-to-day. But bringing science to the masses doesn’t need to be discouraging or devolve to “dumbing down your research.” It’s about being wise. Being selective. It’s about putting yourself in their shoes. Be clear, concise, and a bit irreverent. Now sit back and enjoy, here’s some simple advice for talking science to anyone.
Join us for the chance to turn your research into something someone else will find interesting. Come learn how effective communication can make your study stand out and raise your profile within the scientific community.
Instructor: Steven Sobieszczyk
Steven Sobieszczyk is a scientist, storyteller, and dad. Besides his research, Sobie’s passion is to help others communicate better, regardless of their background or interests. Due to his insatiable curiosity he has developed a broad expertise, including being a teacher, spokesperson, author, web developer, videographer, and artist. He is also a co-founder and Vice President of Content at ScienceTalk.org.
How to be a Scientist on Television
For scientists, the opportunity to appear on television can be both exciting and intimidating. The on-camera world is governed by its own set of rules and in this four-week course, molecular biologist and comedian Dr. Adam Ruben will share lessons from his years of presenting science on television. Lights…camera…science!
Instructor: Adam Ruben
Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. He has appeared on the Science Channel, the Food Network, the Travel Channel, the Weather Channel, Discovery International, and Netflix. Adam currently hosts “What on Earth?” and “Ancient Unexplained Files” on the Science Channel and is a writer for “Elinor Wonders Why” on PBS Kids.
Podcasting for Science Communication
Podcasting brings people together, intimately, through audio. Words spoken from trusted lips vibrate in listeners’ ears with the potential to influence hearts and minds. In this course, with veteran podcaster, Dr. Kiki Sanford, you will explore not just the basics of how to start a podcast, but work specifically on the concept of using podcasts for science communication. As a group, you will discuss various approaches to podcast production, investigate best-practices for reaching various audiences, and identify & critique science podcasts based on this information. You will practice implementing the ideas we cover by developing your own science podcast pilot episode and production plan. If you have been considering podcasting for science communication purposes, this course will set you on the path to make your ideas into a podcast reality.
Instructor: Kirsten Sanford, Ph.D.
This course will be run by Kirsten Sanford, Ph.D. Dr. “Kiki” is creator, producer, and host of the popular and irreverent weekly “TWIS” (“This Week in Science”) podcast and radio show, and host of the “Stem Cell Podcast.” She is owner of Broader Impacts Productions and VP of Public Relations for Science Talk.
Deconstructing Presentations: Creating Slides that Stick
How often have you had to sit through presentations that left you making a to-do list in your head?
If you do not pay attention to the presentation, you will not retain the information. What would have made those presentations—what would make your presentations—memorable, influential, and successful? In Deconstructing Presentations, we will review how the brain processes visuals, stories, data, and information, and then we’ll apply that knowledge to a step-by-step process for you to use in order to make a more memorable and engaging presentation. We will cover how to apply the principles discussed in PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides, and we will review how virtual presentations should be designed differently than in-person presentations. With your new skills, you will leave with the tools needed to ensure your next virtual or in-person presentation engages your audience, persuades them, and is memorable.
Come to this workshop and leave with the tools to never fall into the same pitfalls most presenters do, ever again!
Instructor: Danielle Hennis
Danielle Hennis is the founder of Make It Memorable, a presentation consulting company that specializes in telling visual stories. She uses her background in psychology and graphic design to create award-winning slides and takes client’s complex ideas and turns them into visuals that help the audience gain a deeper understanding of the topic.
Finding & Selling Science Stories
What’s newsworthy science? How do I find story ideas? Will anyone pay me? Learn the ins and outs of science journalism from a scientist-turned-writer. We’ll focus on finding headline-worthy research, crafting pitches to editors, and the finances of freelance science journalism. You’ll hone your own pitch about a recently published study.
Instructor: Katherine Kornei
Katherine Kornei is a freelance science writer based in Portland, Oregon. She regularly writes for Science, Eos, and The New York Times. Katherine has reported stories from the United States and Asia, and she has received science journalism fellowships from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the European Geosciences Union. Katherine holds a B.S. in astrophysics from Yale University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.