Working with Community Groups and Other Public Audiences

Economic security and public health and safety in communities around the globe have improved during the past century as a result of discoveries in Earth and space science. Science can continue to provide such benefits to society in the future…but only if it can maintain strong public support.

Connecting scientists with the communities that benefit from their research and communicating the value of Earth and space science are major focuses of our Centennial celebration. Whether it’s signing up to speak as part of a lecture series hosted by your local library or partnering with a local nature center or policy group to start a mini science fair at the farmers market every Saturday, inspiring the world to see how Earth and space science can create a more sustainable future for us all can be incredibly rewarding.

There are a multitude of options for engaging with community groups. Examples include

  • Organizing a hands-on activity for children at the science or history museum or starting a “science stand” at your local farmers market
  • Working with the library to launch a “Science Saturday” speaker series or cohosting a film screening and panel discussion at the community center
  • Partnering with a coffee shop to start a science-themed book club or with an art studio to host an art and science show
  • Planning a cleanup event at a park or hiking trail in partnership with the local Sierra Club, environmental organization, or gardening club or organizing a citizen science event that engages the community in collecting important environmental data
  • Working with the science club advisor at a high school to plan a field experience activity for the students or with the middle school guidance counselor to represent your area of science in a career fair
  • Sponsoring a local Nerd Nite or Astronomy on Tap event, or hosting tours for the public and/or media and policy makers in your lab

To get you started, we have created a list of resources and tools that can help you successfully communicate your science to this important audience:

Potential Audiences and Partners

Talking to Community Groups

Using Video to Talk About Science

Essential Tips and Tools

Don’t Let Jargon Get in the Way of Your Message

Elevator Pitches: Dos and Don’ts

Giving a Presentation: The Essentials

Using Science Days/Anniversaries as a Starting Point