Plant Pathology Plays Role in Speaking Science Workshop

January 25, 2018

By: Jim Bradeen

On January 11 the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment (IonE) hosted “Speaking Science”, an all-day symposium designed to help scientists build skills for public engagement beyond our technical communities. The sold-out event featured illustrious speakers from the New York Times, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, and the Department of Plant Pathology. That’s right! Our very own Communications and Relations Coordinator Dylan VanBoxtel was among the speakers, representing not only our department, but all of CFANS too. Dylan presented back-to-back workshops on “Science as Story and Story as Science”. The two-hour workshop presented step-by-step instructions to help scientists develop a research narrative that is scientifically accurate and yet broadly accessible. I attended Dylan’s first workshop that day and the room was filled beyond capacity--truly a “standing room only” situation! In total, at least a dozen Plant Pathology students, staff, and faculty attended the symposium. I for one came away with new enthusiasm for public engagement and science communication!