National Science Communication Institute

Marketing & nSCI

Marketing plays an important role in science communication, from effectively explaining information to the public and policymakers, to reaching out to communities, or simply sharing ideas with colleagues.

It's a new world

Science has never been big on self-promotion, so there are many traditional assumptions about communication protocols that your organization may raise. Why is "marketing" necessary and what's the benefit?

Tight budgets

Marketing expenses are usually the first thing companies cut in tight economies. That's why nSCI's goal is to help you find expert help for your science marketing projects at a fraction of the actual cost (or even free if we can).


  1. Consensus is actually a real part of science

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    One of the many unfortunate aspects of arguments over climate change is that it’s where many people come across the idea of a scientific consensus. Just as unfortunately, their first exposure tends to be in the form of shouted sound bites:...
  2. Explaining research without jargon

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    In 2007, Alan Lawson, then dean of the graduate school at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, was looking for a way to morph the popular “elevator pitch” he had seen in the business world into a useful academic...
  3. When Beliefs and Facts Collide

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    Do Americans understand the scientific consensus about issues like climate change and evolution? At least for a substantial portion of the public, it seems like the answer is no. The Pew Research Center, for instance, found that 33 percent of...
  4. Public engagement with science, Victorian style

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    Most people are familiar with some Victorian attempts to popularise science. Perhaps best known are the Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures, begun by Michael Faraday and continued by successors including John Tyndall. They helped make science fashionable and the lecturers famous,...
  5. The economics of drug pricing

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    The decision by the drugmaker Gilead Science, Inc. to charge $84,000 for a 12-week course of its new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) has churned up protest.  Members of Congress have called for company, based in Foster City, Calif., to...

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  1. Fifth Annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference

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    When: Sept 9-10, 2014 Where: University of Washington, Seattle, WA Registration: pnwclimateconference.org The PNW Climate Science Conference annually brings together more than 250 researchers and practitioners from around the region to discuss scientific results, challenges, and solutions related to the...
  2. Journals & Science conference wrap-up

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    nSCI’s November 15th Journals & Science conference was a resounding success. Around 130 representatives of science groups from throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond were able to attend this full-day event. We are currently in the process of assembling the...
  3. National Academies announces data challenge

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    The National Academy of Sciences Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI; www.nas.edu/brdi) is holding an open challenge to increase awareness of current issues and opportunities in research data and information. These issues include, but are not limited to, accessibility,...
  4. NISO webinar on altmetrics

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    November 13, 2013 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) About the Webinar Agenda Event Slides Event Q&A Registration Can’t make it on the webinar day? Register now and gain access to the archive for one year. System Requirements: You will...
  5. International OA Week Oct 21-27

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    Open Access Week, a global event now entering its sixth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to...
  6. nSCI Hosting Conference on Science Journals

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    Join us for an important and groundbreaking conference on the current state of academic journal publishing, covering: The impact of rising journal subscription costs on libraries and research Journals and intellectual property rights: Can (or should) federally-funded research be locked...

More Events

Man walks on moon!

Read more in the Journal of Moon Science, not available in English, online or in news stands

In academia, researchers are encouraged to publish journal articles over everything else, including books, blog posts, and other tidbits that bring clarity to science and science to the public. This might be one reason why science is generally unconcerned about “marketing”—the lack of institutional incentives. There is also a general sense among many in science that done improperly, “marketing” taints science by misrepresenting facts, spreading misinformation, and even worse, giving false hope to those in need. This arms-length relationship between science and clear communication ends up being a vicious circle—science isn’t often promoted properly, the public is uninspired, and scientists conclude that spending money on marketing is a waste.

The reality is that today more than ever before, clear and effective communication is important for grant-funded institutions who need to be efficient, effective and transparent in their messaging, and for endeavors like science outreach whose complicated and important messages need to compete for attention in a very entertaining and diverse information landscape.

Learn more