Looking for some help with science communication? Fill out this Google Form. It’ll take just a few minutes!
Below, please see a little about me, the services I offer, an experiment I’m doing with science communication on Pateron and a few testimonials. Thanks!
When I was in middle school, my physics teacher uncle took me to the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor in Princeton, New Jersey. I was so excited. It was my first time in a scientific facility and I got to ask the scientists there so many questions about their work. I was more committed than ever to pursuing a career in science.
But at the end of our tour, the guide told us something I didn’t expect to hear: that their public funding was getting cut. He even asked us to call our members of Congress to tell them about our tour when we got back home. It was a big wake-up call. The science books I eagerly devoured every day and the politics my family discussed at the dinner table were intimately related.
So I went to Washington, where for the past ten years, I’ve been helping scientists and their institutions share their research and tell their stories. That works feels more important than ever right now as scientists, academics and research institutions realize that civic and political engagement can and must be part of their mission.
Whether it’s in the press, to policymakers or the public, I know that scientists’ first priority is accuracy. From editing reports to rolling out scientific analyses in the media to helping a researcher prepare for the Colbert Report, I make sure scientists are heard clearly and compellingly. And I’m there for scientists when they’re attacked by political ideologues, whether it’s axe-grinding bloggers or elected officials.
I also know that science communication can – and should! – be fun, enjoyable and engaging. Some of my favorite work is pulling off creative public events, including DC’s very own Nerd Nite, which combines the twin joys of well-honed Powerpoint slideshows and sharing a couple beverages with friends.
As a consultant, I’m here to help institutions that need some extra capacity. I also provide a valuable outside voice and perspective for high-stakes communication projects. In my experience, having someone help with a project who doesn’t have a stake in an institutions’ inner workings can unlock a lot of creativity and energy.
- Custom communications workshops with integrated coaching and follow-ups.
- Communication strategy development and implementation.
- Message development for organizations, individuals and projects.
- Event planning, speaker recruitment, moderating and emceeing.
- Writing and editing reports, press releases and op-eds.
- Crisis communication, especially helping scientists respond to political scrutiny.
If you’d like to talk about working together, please fill out this Google Form. It’ll take just a few minutes!
I also offer complementary copies of my ebook on handling media interviews to people and institutions who support my work on Patreon. You can check out – and suggest – other rewards offered at various levels of support.
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Michael E. Mann, distinguished professor and director of the Earth System Science Center, Penn State University:
“When scientists speak out, some politicians try to intimidate us into silence. It’s deeply troubling to find oneself subjected to that kind of harassment, of course, but I know that Aaron always has my back – and the backs of my peers. When Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli falsely accused me of fraud, Aaron worked tirelessly with me to correct the record. Ultimately, we were able to beat back Cuccinelli’s harassment campaign, not only in the press, but also in the courts. Scientists are fortunate to have allies like Aaron who are committed to helping us defend our work and helping us communicate what we do know to our fellow citizens.“
Peter Taback, chief communications officer, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
“Junior faculty can be among the most visionary scientists. But they’re seldom the most practiced communicators. In an environment where evidence-based messages are needed more than ever, Aaron devised a curriculum for Columbia’s Mailman School that demystified science communication and readied faculty in disciplines from health policy to maternal health to translate their research for media, policymakers, and donors. Aaron led two days of hands-on training, helping identify vulnerabilities in the public health narrative and countering them with intellect, logic, and wit. More than two years later, his initial class of ‘trainees’ are among our most visible faculty members.”
“Aaron has been great to work with over the last several years. He’s a skilled writer, editor, and interviewer who communicates nuances accurately in plain language and teaches others to do the same. I trust him to always get the message right without ever sacrificing the facts.”
Olivia Ambrogio, Sharing Science program manager, American Geophysical Union:
So many Earth and space scientists are eager to build their communications skills. Over the past several years, Aaron has worked hand-in-hand with us to produce high-quality, interactive communication workshops for our members. In addition to running some of our workshops, he’s helped us find compelling panelists, offered terrific examples of successful communication in a variety of circumstances and given hands-on support to attendees as they’ve developed their own messages around their science. The workshops have always been a great success, with 93 percent or more of the attendees rating the workshop as excellent. Aaron’s presentations are always entertaining, accessible, and filled with vivid and helpful examples. His input and feedback to participants is unfailingly kind, thoughtful, incisive, and applicable. Aaron’s passion for science communication is clear and it energizes those who work with him and learn from him.
Cat Aboudara, co-boss for Nerd Nite DC and Assistant Director of Program Initiatives at the Franklin Institute
I’ve worked with scientists in a museum setting for more than fifteen years and it’s so exciting to see how the realm of science communication has evolved in that time span. While scientists often want to lead with their data, we know that people need narrative to understand why the data matter. Aaron is one of those people who can work with scientists to bridge the narrative gap in ways that are accurate and effective for audiences. He is a joy to work with on Nerd Nite and a kindred spirit when it comes to championing science communication. As the more extroverted member of our team, he emcees our events and makes sure our speakers, partners, guests and audience members feel welcome and enriched. He is remarkably skilled at creating a friendly and approachable setting for all of us to geek out about science together!