It starts with a poster

Science  06 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6226, pp. 1047
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab0014

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Scientists frequently lament the scarcity of effective scientific communicators—those who can explain complex concepts to the public, present scientifically sound alternatives to policy-makers, and make cogent arguments for the value of science to society. A few stellar programs are designed to select and train elite articulators, but some simple steps can improve the communication skills of all scientists. Most researchers learn how to talk about science at meetings. If scientists cannot explain their work clearly and succinctly to their peers, it is highly unlikely that they can explain it effectively to nonspecialists. I recently helped to judge student papers at a large scientific meeting, an experience that brought to my attention the importance of such communication early in one's career. I offer a few tips on how to make the most of this invaluable training.