Science Communication Award
The Kansas Science Communication Initiative, with the support of the Office of the Vice President for Research, sponsors two Science Communication Awards.
- Faculty and Postdoc Science Communication Award: $1,000 to be used toward research and creative inquiry activities.
- Student Science Communication Award: $500 with no use restrictions; open to undergraduate and graduate students.
For this award, science communication is defined as the exchange of information and viewpoints about science through diverse formats to:
- Study the public's perceptions of science — e.g., surveys, focus groups, deliberative workshops.
- Foster the public's understanding and use of science and scientific methods — e.g., policy initiatives, science festivals and experiential events, articles and interviews, websites and social media.
- Create public conversations and partnerships that advance scientific discovery and address critical social problems.
Nominations for the 2020 award will be accepted in late 2019/early 2020.
Congratulations to the 2019 Science Communication Award recipients!
Faculty winner: Dr. Alice Boyle, associate professor, Division of BiologyDr. Boyle studies birds in both Kansas and the tropics, with particular interests in the evolutionary ecology of migration and dispersal, the consequences of rain for bird physiology and population biology, and linking basic research to conservation challenges. Dr. Boyle aims to effectively communicate both the value and content of her work, as well as demystify the scientific process to the public. She does so via multiple types of events and media, each tailored to specific audiences. These have ranged from bilingual interpretive materials for visitors to the park in Costa Rica where she works, to public talks to birders and naturalists, hands-on workshops for school children, and social media. Most recently, she has combined her non-traditional background in music to create a show built around the themes of prairie conservation and is delivering it to rural Kansas communities. Dr. Boyle believes that effective science communication should be part of the normal roles and responsibilities of the profession, and she seeks to train and provide opportunities to students in her lab to develop relevant skills.
Student winner: Sarah Winnicki, master’s student, Division of Biology
Sarah Winnicki studies the growth of baby birds. She loves science communication because of its potential to inspire all ages, encourage under-represented minorities, and better inform the public about the process of research. Over the last few years, Sarah has had the opportunity to practice scicomm on the radio, on TV, in classrooms, over Skype and snail mail, and in conferences for a variety of public audiences, and she looks forward to communicating science to everyone that will listen.