Good Science Needs Good Communication

COMPASS is an organization that helps scientists effectively share their knowledge in the public discourse and decision-making. It provides practical support for scientists to engage without compromising the accuracy of their science.

The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) has partnered with COMPASS to help Penn State faculty, researchers, and graduate students to better share their discoveries and results with the public, journalists, policymakers, and beyond.

COMPASS brings together expert facilitators and media professionals who train researchers on how the best ways to make their work accessible to larger audiences.

In 2017, IEE and COMPASS have developed four events for Penn Staters:

  1. Graduate Student Workshop
  2. Plenary
  3. Faculty Workshop

All events will take place between October 4–6, 2017.


Graduate Student Workshop

  • Date: October 4, 2017
  • Time: Noon–2:30 p.m.
  • Location: 233 HUB-Robeson Center

Penn State graduate students are invited to attend a science communications workshop on October 4. Learn how to make your research accessible to the media, policymakers, and the public.

Learn how to become part of the conversation, including word choice, narrow/broad focuses, being one small part of a larger topic. This hands-on workshop will offer a comprehensive walk-through of COMPASS's most fundamental communication tool.

There is no cost to attend, and registration is limited to the first fifty. Lunch will be provided.


Interested graduate students can register on the Graduate Student Registration page.


The Institutes of Energy and the Environment and the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center present a behind-the-scenes look at the changing world of journalism.

Leading journalists will discuss how the media is changing and what it means for communicating science to the public and policymakers. They will share their personal perspectives on how to get your stories told and what makes a good science story, and “dos and don’ts” of dealing with journalists. 

A Q&A and reception will follow the plenary. Please join us for this interactive event, which is free and open to the public.


  1. Nancy Shute, NPR
  2. Bob Marshall, Times-Picayune and The Lens
  3. Amanda Paulson, Christian Science Monitor
  4. Ashley Smart, Physics Today


If you are interested, please RSVP through the Plenary Registration page.

Faculty Workshop

  • Date: October 5–6
  • Time: All day on Thursday (Oct 5) and 8-noon on Friday (Oct 6)
  • Location: The Penn Stater

Twenty faculty members will be invited to work with COMPASS facilitators and media professionals on how to expand their research's reach. This year's theme is focused on health and the environment. Space is limited.


If you are interested in being on the list of potential invitees, please fill out the Faculty Workshop Registration page.