Science Communication and Policy Resources

HAQAST researchers work with a variety of stakeholders in the health and air quality communities. To help our investigators and other interested scientists connect and engage with the broader communities (including stakeholders, media, policymakers, and more), we have compiled a list of resources on best practices for science communication and how science and policy intersect. We have organized this list of resources by type, including: short online resources, networks, and books.


HAQAST Specific Resource

Increasing the Use of Earth Science Data and Models in Air Quality Management

This technical report by Jana Milford and Daniel Knight explores federal, state, tribal, and local air quality managers’ perspectives on usefulness of Earth science data and models, using a survey on their involvement with AQAST (the first generation of HAQAST).

General Resources

Scientist-Community PartnershipsScientist-Community Partnerships document cover

This guide from the Union of Concerned Scientists describes considerations for how scientists and community members can build mutually beneficial partnerships.

Word cloud in the shape of question mark of common satellite and air quality related termsSimplify Terminology

This two-page document from AGU describes how technical terms might be confused with more common definitions. Identifying and replacing words that your audience might not be familiar with can help reach a broader group outside of the specific area of study.

For an extreme science communication challenge, the “Up-Goer 5” text editor will identify words outside of the 1,000 most common words.

See our HAQAST glossary for terms people may be unfamiliar with.

Specific Policy and Communication Styles

Public Policy Communication: Introduction

This resource page from MIT explains best practices for communicating science in a policy context, as well as short examples on how to create different types of materials, including policy memos, op-eds, and public comments.

Communicating with Journalists

This short guide from AAAS covers understanding journalist motivations, how to share stories, and how to build a network to make media communication more efficient.

Social Media/Twitter

This AGU webpage explains how to effectively use Twitter to share science. Links on the page also cover other forms of social media.

Science in an Age of ScrutinyPDF preview

This eight page document describes how to safely and effectively handle several types of online harassment from a variety of sources that scientists may encounter.

Books

Engaged Scholar book cover

The Engaged Scholar, by Andy Hoffman (2021)

This book covers the importance of communicating with the public, as well as practical tips on incorporating engagement into an academic portfolio, outreach via social media networks.

Book cover

Beyond Sputnik: US Science Policy in the 21st Century, by Jennifer B. McCormick, Homer A. Neal, Tobin Smith (2008)

A comprehensive text on the intersections of science and public policy.

book cover

Escape from the Ivory Tower, by Nancy Baron (2010)

This book explores how to engage with an audience, in politics, media, how to handle leadership and criticism.

Networks

For HAQAST researchers, NASA has a variety of resources to share information and communicate research widely. Contact Outreach Coordinator Jenny Bratburd (bratburd@wisc.edu) if you have questions or want help promoting your work.

For additional resources, there are many professional societies and networks dedicated to sharing science information with the public and interfacing with communities to improve research. Many of these networks offer webinars, training opportunities, and more. Here are a few networks that may be of interest that engage in science policy and communication efforts:

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) — AAAS is professional society with a variety of science communication, policy and advocacy resources.

American Geophysical Union (AGU) – AGU is professional society with a communication and outreach program, “Sharing Science,” with many resources to help scientists communicate about Earth and space sciences.

American Meteorology Society (AMS) – AMS is a professional society, with policy aiming to promote understanding and use of science and services relating to weather, water, and climate.

National Science Policy Network (NSPN) – NSPN is a network of early career scientists that trains and engages in policy, advocacy, and community building.

Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy Coalition (ESEP) – ESEP is a groups of organizations working to empower scientists and engineers to effectively engage in the policy making process at all levels of government (international, federal, state and local).

Engineers and Scientists Acting Locally (ESAL) – ESAL is a national organization dedicated to increasing local (city, county and state) civic engagement by people with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Know a resource that we should add, or looking for a resource on a topic that we don’t have? Let Outreach Coordinator Jenny Bratburd (bratburd@wisc.edu) know!