Friends of Joe's Big Idea (FOJBIs) Are you interested in science communication? Join NPR's network of SciComm buffs called Friends of Joe's Big Idea. We'll help you connect with like-minded scientists, get published, and find jobs!
NPR logo Friends of Joe's Big Idea (FOJBIs)

Friends of Joe's Big Idea (FOJBIs)

Logo for Joe's Big Idea.
NPR

Joe's Big Idea (JBI) was started by NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca in 2012, in an effort to tell stories about the processes of science and invention. During his travels, Joe interacted with many young scientists who wanted to become better communicators. So, Joe started the group - Friends Of Joe's Big Idea (FOJBIs).

Who are friends of Joe's Big Idea?

Friends of Joe's Big Idea, (pronounced foe-JOE-bee) is a community of young scientists that includes undergrads, graduate students, post docs and faculty interested in improving their science communication skills. There are some 500 FOJBIs across the United States.

Want to get involved?

The community is open to anyone actively engaged in science, no matter their training level. We're here to help scientists talk about science, so we aren't taking public relations people for now. Email msofia@npr.org to get involved!

Your fearless leaders

Science correspondent Joe Palca and producer Maddie Sofia organize the FOJBIs. Both Joe and Maddie got their start as Ph.D. scientists before moving on to NPR. Joe has traveled the country for decades talking about the importance of science communication. Maddie taught science communication at the University of Rochester while earning her Ph.D.

Meredith Rizzo/NPR
NPR's Joe Palca and Madeline Sofia work with scientists all over the country to become better communicators.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Programs we offer:

The JBI team has begun several initiatives to help FOJBIs become better connected with each other, develop science communication related skills and advise on career development.

Office Hours program:

This program allows FOJBIs to practice pitching their ideas and also receive feedback on their writing and editing. Some FOJBIs have been published in academic and online scientific magazines. Check out Megan Serr's piece in Scientific American or Kasra Zarei's in Massive Sci.

FOJBI map:

A layered google map features the location of events such as science cafes, places where scicomm is being taught and the location of our FOJBIs. This tool helps FOJBIs to reach out to each other and to share ideas and resources.

Google Maps/Screenshot by NPR
The Friends of Joe's Big Idea community spans the United States and abroad. The FOJBI Map also shows locations of events such as science on tap/science cafes, and places where science communication is being taught.

Where are we?

Google Maps/Screenshot by NPR

Slack channels:

We have created multiple Slack channels for FOJBIs to chat and share documents.

FOJBI collaborators

We're happy to work with many collaborators to help improve science communication worldwide. Email msofia@npr.org to inquire.

Massive Sci, The Scope, Science in The News, Science Non Fiction, Berkeley CLEAR, SACNAS, and MiSciWrite
We're happy to work with many collaborators to help improve science communication world-wide.
Massive Sci, The Scope, Science in The News, Science Non Fiction, Berkeley CLEAR, SACNAS, and MiSciWrite

Joe's Big Idea is generously funded by the Lemelson Foundation.