New ASCB toolkits help scientists with outreach

Scientist outreach toolkit ASCB

The term “science outreach” implies different things to different people. To some, it could mean creating a snazzy science video. To others, it could mean scientists engaging with the public at events like festivals or in museums. To science writers like me, it means explaining science in clear and simple terms in a written form so that anyone can understand it.

All of these activities and more are science outreach. The problem is that not all scientists know how to do science outreach effectively. That’s why ASCB’s Public Information Committee (PIC) decided to create a portfolio of “communication toolkits” that anyone can use to achieve their science outreach goals.

“Many ASCB members have told me that they want to be more involved in promoting science to a broader audience, but didn’t really know where to start,” said Lee Ligon, PIC chair. “The committee worked together over a period of months to find and organize resources to help people get started, to engage in different types of outreach, and most importantly, how to be effective in their communication. I think that these toolkits represent a great resource for all scientists, and I hope everyone takes advantage of them.”

ASCB’s Communication Toolkits include:

Effective Public Outreach: What is outreach? How do you get started?

Best Practices in Science Communication: Tips and Tricks and Elevator Speeches

Working with the Press: Interviews, Press Releases

Discussing Controversial Topics: Tactics for Productive Discussion

Social Media for Scientists: Twitter, Facebook, and more

Use of Videos/ Multimedia: Moving Pictures Tell the Story

ASCB encourages everyone, whether you are a member or not, to use our toolkits. We also invite your feedback and links to other resources. Send your comments/ideas to Director of Communications and Education Thea Clarke. 

Read more ASCB Blog posts about Science Outreach:

Five ways to get involved in community science outreach

Science outreach as a vital tool to promoting research funding

About the Author:


Mary Spiro is ASCB's Science Writer and Social Media Manager.