SCN creates opportunities for scientists and journalists to communicate, and we improve these interactions by giving scientists the tools to better convey their findings to the media. This interaction and resulting media attention to peer-reviewed research narrows the gap between scientific research and public understanding of the effects of environmental contaminants on public health.
SCN was launched in response to what scientists themselves have told us they need in order to better convey their findings: media training; and tools for outreach that keep reporters, scientists and others informed of new research and other events in the field. We also provide journalists what they told us they need: advance notice of publication of important new science, with context, background, and access to a variety of credible experts for interview.
SCN works to:
- Give scientists and other health professionals the communications tools to better communicate their work to the public;
- Ensure that environmental health research is better understood by reporters, so they can report accurately and in context; and
- Offer reporters a greater pool of experts for interview, with a variety of new voices from a wider range of fields.
A list of issue areas we address includes, but is not limited to:
- Endocrine disruptors that are obesogens, and reproductive, neurological, and immunological toxicants.
- Fetal origins of adult disease.
- Intersection of environmental health and reproductive health.
- Health effects associated with unconventional energy exploration, including fracking.
- Disparities among populations most affected.
- Research on transgenerational effects.
- Environmental contaminants linked to auto immune diseases, like allergies.
- Diseases of aging such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
- Health effects associated with climate change.
Science Communication Fellowship
Partnering with Advancing Green Chemistry, SCN co-leads a Science Communication Fellowship program which trains future scientific leaders to engage with journalists and the public about rapidly evolving research associated with safer materials and a healthy future (green chemistry/engineering and environmental health sciences).
Each year, up to 10 outstanding researchers from fields of green chemistry/engineering and the environmental health sciences serve as Fellows. They bring with them a wide range of experiences and intimate understanding of diverse disciplines. During the year-long program, they develop the essential skills to convey in plain and engaging language important research findings. In the process, the Fellows gain a wider world view and make important connections with one another and with new scientific ideas.