1. K-State home
  2. »Science Communication Initiative
  3. »Conference
  4. »Objectives and History

Science Communication Initiative

Mission and History

The mission of the SciComm conference is to:

  1. Train scientists, educators, journalists and the public in effective science communication;

  2. Disseminate cutting-edge research, tools, evaluation instruments, programs, and activities for science learning and evaluation inside and outside of classrooms;

  3. Forge new connections between university instructors, discipline-based education researchers, K-12 teachers, informal and formal science learning sites (e.g. museums, libraries), science learning researchers and evaluators, and science disseminators (e.g. science writers, film makers, etc.);

  4. Engage with the public, policy makers, and people who use science communication in a diversity of careers; and

  5. Provide opportunities for practitioners of science communication to implement communication strategies and receive critical feedback.


SciComm was initiated as a one-day symposium in 2015 led by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Program of Excellence Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr. Matthew Wilkins. The symposium was tremendously successful and drew in faculty, teachers, and education-focused professionals from across the state of Nebraska.

Due to the excitement and energy that came from the one-day symposium, SciComm programming in 2016 was expanded to a day and a half. Again, excitement and energy was palpable and in its second year, SciComm attracted attendees from multiple states. In 2018, SciComm became a full professional conference that will recruit and attract attendees from across the country.

In the summer of 2017, the Kansas Science Communication Initiative was born through the efforts of a group of faculty, staff, and students at Kansas State University and members of the community in Manhattan. Several participants had attended previous SciComm events in Lincoln, and a large group attended SciComm 2018. After that conference, KSCI approached UNL about co-hosting the conference and alternating years. Read more about KSCI projects.