Science Communication Workshop Series

Would you like to learn more about Science Communication and improve your scicomm skills?

Join us for workshops and panels that will allow you to expand your knowledge how to communicate science both inside and outside of the academic setting.

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Organized and moderated by the GSA Science Communication and Outreach Subcommittee.

Upcoming workshops:

How to transition from academia to a science and medical writing career
July 5, 2022 at 1:00 PM EDT


This panel discussion is designed for early career researchers in academia who are considering transitioning to science or medical writing careers. Our panel will discuss what steps can be taken while in academia to prepare yourself for the job market in science and medical writing.


Gertrude Nonterah headshot Gertrude Nonterah, Ph.D. is a medical writer. She graduated from Lewis Katz Temple University School of Medicine with a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology in 2015. After a short postdoctoral stint at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), Dr. Nonterah worked as an adjunct faculty member at Cuyamaca College. She is the host of The Bold PhD YouTube channel which helps PhD students and PhDs prepare for and navigate the career market outside academia.


Maria Ali headshotMaria Ali, Ph.D. is an Associate Medical Writer with Open Health Communications.

She received her PhD in Developmental Neurobiology in July 2021 in the lab of Dr. Sarah Kucenas, PhD at the University of Virginia. Following a brief Post Doc, Dr. Ali made the transition to Medical Writing in February of 2022.


Kimberly McCoy headshotKimberly (Berly) McCoy, Ph.D.  (she/her) is an assistant producer for NPR’s daily science podcast, Short Wave. The podcast tells stories about science and scientists, in all the forms they take. McCoy started working with NPR as the program coordinator of the NPR Scicommers, a group founded by Joe Palca and Maddie Sofia to teach scientists and engineers how to better communicate and find community. After lending a fact-checking hand to the Short Wave team on and off, they graciously taught McCoy the production ropes, where she now produces regularly, with stories ranging from axolotls to physics. In another life, McCoy earned her PhD in biochemistry transforming viruses into nanoreactors. In her research career, she’s dug through garbage to understand human recycling behavior, counted rattlesnake tongue flicks to gauge their diet preferences and caught endangered butterflies on mountain tops for population surveys. She lives just outside of Glacier National Park and enjoys rock climbing, ice fishing, and making food magically appear from dirt.


Ashley Waldron headshotAshley Waldron, Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist at Addgene, where she provides scientific support and educational content for the research community. She is a regular contributor to the Addgene Blog and spends much of her day communicating with life science researchers from around the world. Ashley received her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Vermont where she studied cell and molecular mechanisms at play in animal development and disease, while also working as a Writing Tutor at the university’s Graduate Writing Center and as a Teaching Assistant in the Biology Department. Ashley continued her study of animal development as a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University before transitioning away from the bench. Prior to joining Addgene, she also worked as a Technical Writer at Ginkgo Bioworks.

Moderator and Co-Organizer:

Anna Drangowska-Way headshotAnna Drangowska-Way, Ph.D. graduated from the University of Virginia, where she studied the metabolism and genetics of tiny roundworms called C. elegans. Currently, Anna is an Intern at the Office of Scientific Meetings & Conferences at FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) and a Communication and Outreach Subcommittee member in the Genetics Society of America Early Career Leadership Program.  Recently she started working with ASAPbio as a Communications Assistant. During graduate school, Anna was a Teaching Assistant for a Communicating Science to Any Audience course. Anna served as the Chair of ComSciCon at UVA and co-organized the Forum for Interdisciplinary Dialogue: Academics and Social Media. You can connect with Anna through LinkedIn.


Riley St Clair headshotRiley St. Clair, Ph.D. (she/her) is a science communicator and educator. She is a professor of life sciences at Quest University, a liberal arts college and primarily undergraduate institution in British Columbia. Riley received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Vermont where she used cell culture techniques and zebrafish to study nervous system development. She continued her research in neurodevelopment as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, where she used the nematode C. elegans as a model system. As an educator and science communicator, Riley loves to find creative ways for students to interact with the scientific method and science concepts. She is especially interested in how games and play can increase student engagement and comprehension of biology and neuroscience topics. Riley is also passionate about science communication and is an advocate for making science accessible for everyone. She has volunteered with and led events that engage females in STEM fields and has co-founded local outreach programs, including the BRAIN Program. You can connect with Riley on social media or email.

Past workshops:

Using Analogies to Explain Complex Concepts
April 5, 2022, 1 p.m. EST
Presenter: Marlit Hayslett


Do you ever struggle to explain a technical or complex concept from your work? Maybe an analogy could help! Analogies use familiar ideas to help explain new concepts. In this session, we will learn and apply a step-by-step process for developing analogies. Participants will be able to use this technique after the workshop in the context of their own research. This interactive session will be 90 minutes.

Photo of Marlit HayslettMarlit Hayslett, PhD of Hayslett Consulting, LLC, thrives on coaching clients how to share their professional passions with their audiences. She connects with you by listening and learning about your interests. Marlit builds on your strengths while also encouraging you to try new techniques. She has worked with scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs from China, India, Poland, France, Italy, Kuwait, Costa Rica, the United States, to name a few. Earlier in her career, Marlit coached doctoral students at the University of Virginia and engineers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Geek alert: Her PhD from the University of Georgia compared how scientific information is communicated to policymakers to inform public policy on science-related issues in the European Union and the United States.

Careers in Science Communication panel

October 14, 2020, 12 p.m. EDT

Would you like to learn how to turn your science communication hobby into a real career? Our panelists made that transition! Join us to listen to their stories and learn about the breadth of scicomm careers.


Carolyn Hall headshot
Picture credit: Robin Michaels

Panelist 1: Carolyn Hall, science communication instructor, resident ecologist at Works on Water, and professional contemporary dancer

Carolyn Hall became a science communication instructor in 2015 out of the desire to make her and others’ data-rich science and complex research more understandable and memorable. Based in New York City, Carolyn holds a Masters in marine science with a focus on historical marine ecology from SOMAS, Stony Brook University and is an award-winning professional contemporary dancer. She engages both her scientist and artist halves as a core member and resident ecologist of the art/environmental collective Works on Water, an independent researcher/fact checker for the best-selling author Paul Greenberg, a climate change communications consultant to the American Fisheries Society, and creator of various public engagement projects that focus on shoreline histories and the impact of our changing climate. She has taught communication workshops for scientists, religious scholars, artists, health care providers, and students from many disciplines both independently and formerly with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. She is also on the boards of iLAND (the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Art, Nature and Dance) and Culture Push.



Julia DeMarines headshot. She is wearing a space helmet.

Panelist 2: Julia DeMarines, Astrobiologist, National Geographic Explorer, and science educator at UC Berkeley

Julia DeMarines is currently a PhD student in UC Berkeley’s Earth and Planetary Science department doing joint research with the Berkeley SETI Research Center and the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science on a project attempting to determine what we “sound” like to an alien observer.  She also teaches with the international team of scientists/educators called the Ad Astra Academy. She is a 2019 AGU Voices for Science advocate, a National Geographic Explorer and 2018 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow.  She holds a Masters degree in Space Studies from the International Space University and a Bachelor’s in Astronomy from the University of Colorado. Her research involves biosignature and technosignature detections, the ethics behind messaging extraterrestrials, and the impact of educational activities. Julia also runs her own outreach events called  “Space in Your Face!”—a space variety show involving comedy, local artists, and cover songs. When she’s not doing science and communication she can be found cracking Uranus jokes, trying not to kill her plants, trail running, and hanging with her cat, Bella. 





Máté Pálfy headshot

Panelist 3: Máté Pálfy,  Community Manager for preLights at The Company of Biologists, UK

Máté Pálfy is the Community Manager for preLights, an open access preprint highlighting service that was launched in 2018 by The Company of Biologists. His role involves running and evolving the platform, building an early-career researcher community, organising events such as webinars and providing writing/editing feedback. Before this, Máté obtained his PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden studying gene expression in early development.


Upcoming Workshops:

Coming soon!