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W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

The R3 Science Communications Leadership Program

In an era of science skepticism, biomedical and public health scientists and professionals need to be excellent communicators.  The skills students acquire in this program are essential, universal leadership qualities that will support their careers in all aspects of societal life and engagement. 

R3ISE Science Communication Leadership Program Rationale

The RScience Communications Leadership Program is designed to enrich doctoral student education with training in key communications skills through workshops led by experts. It also hosts lectures available to anyone in the Johns Hopkins community. 


The program will host five public webinars during the 2021 calendar year. Webinars will cover a diverse range of practical strategies to improve science communications to non-technical audiences. 

Listed below are the planned webinars. More information will be added as additional speakers are confirmed. 

Webinar 5: Harnessing the Power of Twitter While Combating Misinformation and Trolls 

A Conversation with Dr. Joshua Sharfstein  

12 – 1 p.m. Eastern US Time (-5 GMT) 
Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Speaker: Joshua Sharfstein, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Moderated by program associate, Jon Suen

RECORDING OF THIS WEBINAR  (Access Passcode: QG!9U7rd)

Resources from this webinar

Twitter continues to grow as a powerful communications mechanism for health scientists and policy makers alike. Dealing with the ongoing misinformation crisis — and those who fuel it — can be a challenge for anyone in the health sciences who uses Twitter. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, about the promises and pitfalls of using Twitter for health science communication.

The webinar is free and open to doctoral and graduate students, faculty, and others in the Johns Hopkins community. 


Webinar 4: Visual Design for Science Communication 

A Webinar by Katie Peek, PhD  

12 – 1 p.m. Eastern US Time (-4 GMT) 
Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Speaker: Katie Peek, Visual Journalist

RECORDING OF THIS WEBINAR (Access Passcode: c.Wo6.?9)

Want to help others see what you see in your data? Design principles are here to help!  

Visual journalist Katie Peek will cover the basics of good chart design and share data visualization strategies and secrets, including examples of her own work. 

The webinar is free and open to doctoral and graduate students, faculty, and others in the Johns Hopkins community.  



Webinar 3: Writing and Pitching Life-Science-Related Op-Eds 

A Science Communications Webinar by Patrick Skerrett, editor of STAT News’ First Opinion  

12 – 1 p.m. Eastern US Time (-4 GMT) 
Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Speaker: Patrick Skerrett, Editor, STAT's First Opinion

RECORDING OF THIS WEBINAR (Access Passcode: E7S2$vnm)

Op-eds are a critical tool for influencing public opinion and policy, sharing your informed perspective on important issues, and translating your research.  

How do you write an effective op-ed? Patrick Skerrett, who runs the opinion section for STAT News, will introduce students and faculty to the art of writing opinion articles. He’ll explain why op-eds are worth writing, how basic elements can be used to create an effective op-ed, and how to pitch your idea to an editor. 

The webinar is free and open to doctoral and graduate students, faculty, and others in the Johns Hopkins community.  


Webinar 2: A Better Way of Writing

A Science Communications Webinar by Axios Managing Editor Alison Snyder 

12 – 1 p.m. Eastern US Time (-4 GMT) 
Friday, March 26, 2021

Speaker: Alison Snyder, Managing Editor, Axios


We can all write better. A key challenge is learning to communicate the essential information in a reader-friendly way. The news website Axios has made clear, efficient writing an integral part of its mission to help their readers “get smarter, faster.”

Join our Friday, March 26 webinar?led by?Alison Snyder, an Axios managing editor and a scientist-turned-journalist. In this webinar, you will learn how to: 

  • rethink your writing style 

  • write more efficiently 

  • pare down scientific information?to the essentials 

  • consider reader needs first 

The webinar is free and open to doctoral and graduate students,?and others in the Johns Hopkins community.? 



Webinar 1: Making Messages Stick 
Strategies to make sure your key points are communicated, understood, and remembered 

12 – 1 p.m. Eastern US Time (-5 GMT) 
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Speaker: Lymari Morales, Associate Dean for Communications and Marketing at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 


You will learn concrete ways to distill key messages from your research and work, organize and craft them for successful delivery, and appropriately match your message to the medium: 

  • Identify the 1-3 messages you want audiences to take away 
  • Organize around those messages 
  • Write clear and memorable messages 
  • Adapt messages for different formats (written, verbal, visual, etc.) 


We welcome you to join the ongoing conversation about science communications on Twitter via #R3ISEnetwork

The R3 Science Communications Leadership Program is made possible by the Provost’s PhD Professional Development Innovation Initiative and support from the R3 Center for Innovation in Science Education (R3ISE)

For more information about the program, please contact the program directors, Brian Klaas (bklaas[at] and Brian Simpson (bsimpso1[at]