As scientists, we are constantly faced with the challenge of communicating the nature of our research to our peers and the general public, but the importance of this professional skill is often overlooked. Effective communication cultivates scientific literacy in a public audience, broadens collaborations across diverse scientific disciplines, and can influence governmental decision-making regarding science policy and funding.
Since joining Whitney Lab in 1985, Dr. Barbara Battelle has worked tirelessly to promote and improve scientific communication skills within the Whitney Lab community. As the founder, with key docents, of the Whitney Lab’s K-12 outreach program, Dr. Battelle has mentored numerous volunteer docents, helping them to develop effective ways of engaging elementary and middle school-aged students with complex topics in marine science. Since 2006, she has also organized and led the Scientific Communications Course for undergraduate students participating in our summer NSF sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program and has led the weekly “SciCom” Science Communication graduate course, which aims to assess and improve the presentation skills of Whitney’s junior and senior scientists alike.
In recognition of the lasting contribution she has made to the professional development of our students, technicians, postdoctoral associates, and faculty, we proudly announce the establishment of the Dr. Barbara Anne Battelle Excellence in Scientific Communication Award.
This award recognizes two Whitney Lab scientists per year who have demonstrated an outstanding ability to communicate their research to the Whitney community. Awardees will be selected by a committee made up of a representative from each lab, who will evaluate presentations based upon a number of criteria. Recipients of the award will have their name engraved on a plaque to be displayed in the foyer of the research building and will receive a cash prize of $100. The establishment of this award will continue Dr. Barbara Battelle’s work in promoting and improving scientific communication skills to foster greater impacts of Whitney Laboratory research.
Content: Danielle De Jong, Jessica Long, Leslie Babonis