NPR Scicommers Are you interested in science communication? Join NPR's network of science communication buffs called NPR Scicommers. We'll help you connect with like-minded scientists, get published, and find jobs!
NPR logo NPR Scicommers

NPR Scicommers

A Science Communication Collective

NPR Scicommers (formally known as Friends of Joe's Big Idea) 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 scientists and engineers who wanted to become better communicators.

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

toggle caption
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

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

Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Who are the NPR Scicommers?

NPR Scicommers is a community of scientists and engineers that includes undergrads, graduate students, post docs and faculty interested in improving their science communication skills. There are some 1000 NPR Scicommers across the United States.

Want to get involved?

The community is open to anyone actively engaged in science or engineering, no matter their training level. We're here to help scientists engineers, so we aren't taking public relations people for now. Email nprscicommers@gmail.com to get involved!

Logo for Joe's Big Idea.
NPR

Your fearless leaders

Science correspondent Joe Palca and producer Maddie Sofia created the NPR Scicommers. Berly McCoy is the NPR Scicommers coordinator. All three of us got our 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. Berly is starting out a freelance science writer.

Programs we offer:

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

Office Hours program:

This program allows scientists and engineers to practice pitching their ideas and also receive feedback on their writing and editing. Each Scicommer that produces content gets a final edit from an NPR reporter. After that, we help get the content in the hands of editors who may publish the work. More than 50 Scicommers have used this program to get published outside academia. Check out Matt Wilkins's piece in Scientific American or Hannah Thomasy's piece in NPR's The Salt.

Mentor Chats:

The mentor chat series brings experts in to video chat with the NPR Scicommers. So far we have explored topics such as: freelance science writing, starting a diversity and inclusion group on academic campuses, science outreach, and more. The chats are recorded, and are usually accompanied by resources following the chat.

Slack channels:

We have created multiple Slack channels for NPR Scicommers to chat and share documents.Channels are denoted by a hashtag and their name.

  • Check out #joblistings in scicomm
  • Have Joe's Big Idea promote your original scicomm works by posting its link in the #facebookjbi channel
  • Join the group focusing on #stem_inclusion in science communication and academia
  • Join the group of scientists trying to get better at science #visuals
  • Join our Spanish-speaking scicomm channel called #ideasgrandes
  • Take part in our awesome Office Hours program, which has helped 45 scientists get published outside academia so far.

NPR Scicommer 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 NPR Scicommers. This tool helps NPR Scicommers to reach out to each other and to share ideas and resources.

Collaborators

We're happy to work with many collaborators to help improve science communication worldwide. Email NPRScicommers@gmail.com to inquire.

The NPR Scicommers community spans the US and abroad. The map shows locations of events such as science on tap/science cafes, and places where science communication is being taught. Google Maps/Screenshot by NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Google Maps/Screenshot by NPR

The NPR Scicommers community spans the US and abroad. The map shows locations of events such as science on tap/science cafes, and places where science communication is being taught.

Google Maps/Screenshot by NPR

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

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