Overview

About Us

The National Science Communication Institute (nSCI) is a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit charity. Our mission is to help improve science collaboration, discovery, education and public policy by reforming the communication culture inside science. In late September 2017 we started changing our name to just the Science Communication Institute (dropping the “national”) to better reflect the global nature of the word we do and have always done. It will take us time to correct this everywhere–bear with us 🙂

The Issue

Science does a poor job of communicating internally. Scientists write mostly for journals that very few people ever read, researchers don’t share their data often enough, science efforts don’t spend money on coordinated public relations efforts, and more. The outcome of this dysfunction is that science doesn’t discover as much as it might otherwise be able to given better communications tools and practices, and opportunities for discovery are being lost. This is true in every field from medical research to alternative energy research to pure science.  STEM education is also a continual challenge, at least in part due to these communications issues, and the public’s understanding of science is anemic, particularly with regard to hot-button public policy issues like climate change and evolution.

Our Approach

SCI is working to change this arms-length relationship between science and communication from several different angles, including by raising awareness and facilitating discussions among scientists and funding organizations of science communication issues and possible solutions, reaching out to interested scientists and connecting them with each other and with policymakers and other stakeholders, working to change the link between journal publishing and tenure, and more.

There aren’t any other groups doing this. There are science writing groups, groups serving particular research specializations, and advocacy organizations like the National Academy of Sciences, but there aren’t any groups actively working to change the whole culture of science communication and thereby enhance the public benefit from science.

In addition to these activities, SCI is also undertaking several specific science communication projects. These projects have two main goals in mind: (1) to improve the communication capacity and effectiveness of science-related research and projects, and (2) to demonstrate how improved communication tools can be used in science. See the projects section of this website for more details.

ROI

There is a genuine public need for what SCI is trying to accomplish. The return on investment from reforming science communication will reverberate throughout society for many years, improving the lives of millions through discovery and innovation. We have the stakeholder support we need from the science community, and the resources to accomplish our goals are accessible. The rest is up to you! Please consider joining or contributing today.

nSCI's to-do list

Help increase awareness about the importance of effective communication in science


Build a network of researchers and scientists who can work together toward communication reform


Offer communication-related assistance to science researchers and groups


Develop the internal capacity of science researchers and groups to effectively market, collaborate, educate and inform


Help improve internal and public access to science information and data


Help reform the journal publishing system to improve internal and public access to research information


Carry out projects that help demonstrate the effectiveness of science communication and that help share lessons of experience


White papers

Click to download our draft White Paper, "Science Communication Today"

Click to download a copy of the OSI report on scholarly communication.

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