Wonderfest Science Envoy Program

Wonderfest Science Envoy Program

I sometimes think that general and popular treatises are almost as important for the progress of science as original work. 
– Charles Darwin

Click images for biosketches.

About Science Envoys

How can we encourage researchers to educate the public about their work — and about the glories of science, in general?  One way, is to get those researchers when they’re young!

Wonderfest’s Science Envoy Program, funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, identifies PhD students who show particular science-popularization promise. We help the budding researchers to develop the subtle art and science of public outreach.  The program’s participants emerge as articulate Science Envoys, appearing before live Wonderfest audiences that are eager for their insights.

Wonderfest’s Science Envoy Program presents active science communication workshops that draw on the expertise of the following teachers to develop PhD students’ speaking skills:

  • Robert Siegel (Stanford) on the attributes of excellent teachers
  • Eugenie Scott (NCSE) on “drive-by science” to help the press get it right
  • Lisa Rowland (Stanford) on using the skills of improvisation to captivate audiences
  • Jack Conte (Patreon) on creating Internet science videos to reach millions
  • Lauren Weinstein (Stanford) on learning “the essentials of communication”
  • Jacob Bien (USC) & Howard Rheingold (Stanford) on visual aids that truly elucidate
  • Kraemer Winslow (MYP Communications) on making your point sink in
  • Robin Marks (NCSWA) on explaining your science to an 8th grader.

Our first two years of the Science Envoy Program were superb (superb enough to earn another year of Moore Foundation funding). As we continue to help young scientists to find their public voices, Wonderfest is excited about the long-term impact that the Envoy program can have on science popularization. What could be better for promoting science to future generations than to augment the ranks of researchers who take science popularization seriously?

 

Here’s Wonderfest’s
inaugural 2013-14 class
of Science Envoys.

 

These luminaries COULD have gotten their start as Science Envoys!

These luminaries COULD have gotten their start as Science Envoys!