Science Communication Programs

As part of the SOT Strategic Plan and its focus on increasing communication skills among SOT members and increasing the Society’s influence through science communication, SOT has developed new programs focused on science communication opportunities.

SOT Science Communications Training Award

Designed to enhance members’ ability to effectively communicate and engage with audiences.

Read more

SOT InTOXicating Science Talks

An innovative way to discuss and present scientific research and other toxicology topics.

Read more

SOT Science Communications Training Award

Over a five-year period, SOT is partnering with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science to train members in the Alda Method© to enhance their ability to effectively communicate and engage with the public, with policymakers, and with fellow scientists.

Individuals who apply for and receive the SOT Science Communications Training Award will attend the Alda Center’s core training program, “The Essential.” The award and training will be offered twice per year to cohorts of 24 members each and will be fully funded/sponsored by SOT.

About the Training

During the three-hour session, participants will:

  • develop strategies to connect and understand an audience
  • learn to set meaningful realistic communication goals
  • practice approaches to designing a message that will help others connect to you, your work, and why it matters

Rather than focusing on tactics and tips (i.e., do and don’t lists), the Alda Method centers around learning through experience, guided reflection, and peer feedback. This training is about transforming how participants think about communication, which gives them skills that can apply to all forms of communication and all topics, including science.

Upcoming Award and Training Timelines

May 18, 2022 Training Important Dates

  • Thursday, February 24
    Applications open
  • Sunday, April 10, at 11:59 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)
    Application deadline
  • By Friday, April 29
    All applicants notified of award results
  • Wednesday, May 18, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)
    Live training session

October 28, 2022 Training Important Dates

  • Thursday, August 11
    Applications open
  • Sunday, September 18, 11:59 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)
    Applications deadline
  • By Friday, October 7
    All applicants notified of award results
  • Friday, October 28, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (US EDT, UTC -4)
    Live training session

Tips for a Successful Science Communications Training Award Application

  1. Tell us who you are—not just the scientist you.
    The first question of the application asks for a personal narrative. You do not need to limit your narrative to your professional life. Tell us a story.
  2. Be passionate.
    When asked about your research in the second question, don’t copy and paste a list of accomplishments, but instead, convey a high-level look at your research and why it engages you.
  3. Think bigger.
    While your career goals, as requested in the third question, may be very specific to you, your position, or your research, how science communication can assist you should be looked at from not just your career perspective, but also from an SOT and societal level.
  4. Make it personal.
    For example, there are many examples in the news of poor science communication, but when the application asks for an example of where better communication could make a difference, think about your own experiences and sphere—when did you witness or contribute to a situation that could have used better communication.

Please contact SOT Communications Director Michelle Werts with any questions.

InTOXicating Science Talks

The SOT InTOXicating Science Talks program will highlight toxicology by capturing short (15 minutes or less) talks on video about the motivation behind and importance of the work being conducted by SOT members. These will not be scientific presentations, but an exploration of science through storytelling and relatable experiences. Essentially, SOT wants to showcase its members’ passion for toxicology!

This opportunity is open to all SOT members, including students and trainees, who are attending the 2022 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in person since the InTOXicating Science Talks will be delivered and recorded live in San Diego.

How to Participate

Create a three-minute-or-less video in which you provide a short preview of your InTOXicating Science Talk by showcasing your topic and the presentation style that you will use.

Submissions are not currently being accepted for this program. The next submission period will be in mid- to late-2023.

Participation Timeline

  • November 30, 2021: Submissions are due.
  • December 20, 2021: An SOT Council subgroup will tell submitters if they have been selected to develop full InTOXicating Science Talks for presentation in San Diego. Up to three submissions will be selected for full presentations.
  • January 31, 2022: Awardees submit a video of their full presentation for feedback.
  • February 15, 2022: Feedback on the presentation is provided.
  • March 27–31, 2022: Awardees attend the SOT meeting in San Diego and deliver an InTOXicating Science Talk to a live audience on Tuesday, March 29, 2021, at 11:30 am (PT).

Tips for Successful Submissions

  • Focus your talk on one aspect of your life or work.
  • Choose a topic that is new, surprising, interesting, or a twist on a well-known topic.
  • Develop anecdotes, analogies, or examples that illustrate and explain your chosen topic.
  • Share why your topic is important—how does it have an impact?
  • Determine if your talk would benefit from visuals or not—think engaging, simple slides or props.
  • Rehearse before you record your submission.

Please contact SOT Communications Director Michelle Werts with any questions.