21ST Century Scientists Working Group

June 15th 2017

Taking Action: Managing Personal Bias in STEM – free workshop on July 7

21sci is very excited to announce an upcoming workshop:

Taking Action: Managing Personal Bias in STEM

Facilitator: Kelly Cross, PhD

Sponsored by: 21st Century Scientists and the Beckman Institute
Friday, July 7, 2017
10:00 AM -12:00 PM

Free to members of the UIUC community

Room 3269 Beckman Institute, 405 N. Mathews

Sign up here!

Workshop limited to 30 participants

Fostering diversity and equity is the responsibility of all scientists, and requires active contributions from all members of the scientific community. Unchallenged biased beliefs and practices shape the social interactions and learning environment of a science trainee, as well as their professional beliefs and interactions as a future STEM professional. The compositional make-up of students attending college is changing, and STEM fields have become more diverse. However, women and racial and ethnic minority students and professionals report higher rates of stereotyping, bias, and mistreatment during their education and professional lives. Unfortunately, it may be challenging for some scientists to name and/or even acknowledge that inequity exists within their STEM program, let alone address it without fear of consequences such as isolation or jeopardized professional advancement.

This interactive session will be an open, collegial discussion of bias, inequalities, and microaggressions in the STEM environment including the classroom and workplace. The facilitator will moderate group discussions as well as offer skills and strategies for responding to specific biased events that may occur during one’s STEM education or professional space. Attendees will learn how to recognize unintended bias and will practice addressing unintended biases that commonly occur within science educational and professional spaces. Join us in unpacking our individual beliefs, and understand how to recognize and respond to bias and microaggressions. Supporting materials will be provided for developing skills to improve the STEM culture by highlighting the educational benefits of diversity and inclusive practices throughout our future careers.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Provide definitions and examples of bias, microaggressions, and disruption
  • Raise awareness about institutional factors that influence climate with regard to diversity
  • Gain a better understanding of an approach and strategy to manage personal bias
  • Learn and practice the approach and strategy to manage personal bias
  • Follow-up tools provided to manage personal bias and self-evaluate inclusive practices

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

May 28th 2017

Journal club Monday June 12!

Mark your calendars for Monday, June 12, 2-3 pm (note new time) in ERML 138 for the next 21sci journal club!

Shriyaa Mittal will present:

Gheorghiu, Ana I., Mitchell J. Callan, and William J. Skylark. “Facial appearance affects science communication.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017): 201620542.

Download the PDF on Box.

Feel free to come even if you haven’t read the paper, but be ready to talk about faces and scicomm!

May 20th 2017

Journal club Monday May 22, 2-3pm

We’ll be having journal club this Monday May 22 with Julian Cooper!

NEW TIME: 2-3pm.

Same place: 138 ERML.

Julian will be presenting on Gut Check: The evolution of an educational board game


Feel free to come even if you have not read the paper. Hope to see you there!

April 27th 2017

Tackling the Science Communication Certificate program

So you’re psyched to get your Certificate in Science Communication. Where to begin?

The best place to start is a careful reading of the requirements. Then download the application. The application is a PDF document that contains all the requirements and can be edited as you complete them, and this (with attachments) is what you’ll submit when you’re done.

Next, consider your time frame. When do you hope to complete the certificate? It was designed for comfortable completion within a year, but you may take longer (if you have a lot on your plate) or shorter (if you’re about to graduate). We recommend making a plan for when you will complete each part of the certificate based on your own time frame. Note that the timing of some parts of the certificate aren’t under your direct control, for example, when you will lead a journal club, or when there will be workshops that you can attend. (The annual 21st Century Scientists Workshop, held every April, is a required part of the certificate.) You may want to leave extra time for these so you don’t find yourself unable to finish in time if they are difficult to schedule.

As part of your plan, we suggest you think not just when you will complete each requirement, but how. Who will you read/listen to/watch as a professional science communicator? What science communication project will you do yourself? Think about what you really enjoy, what you may already have done that you can either get credit for or expand on, and what skills might be useful in your future career.

We are happy to look over your plan, and in fact encourage you to check in with us. Our requirements are intentionally non-specific to allow a wide range of ways to complete them. However, we don’t want you to be surprised at the last minute if the project you chose turns out not to be appropriate. So check with us! We strongly encourage you to join 21sci on slack as you move through the certificate process, and this is a great place to check in. Join slack with your illinois.edu address and you’ll be allowed in. Then post to the #grad-certificate channel – you can either post your question, or note that you are looking for someone to talk to more privately, either on slack or in person. If you’re just looking for ideas and aren’t ready to make your plan yet, we’re happy to help with that, too.

Finally, come to 21sci meetings! (The meeting time is posted on the right sidebar of this site.) These are a great way to get to know other people with similar interests and to stay on top of what’s happening on campus in terms of science communication opportunities.


April 6th 2017

After the workshop, come to journal club (Monday)

This Friday, April 7, is our third annual workshop and it’s going to be fantastic. You should come! This year’s theme is “The Future of Science Communication in a Post-Factual World.”

Then on Monday, we’re having journal club. Jessica Hekman will present

Peoples, Brandon K., et al. “Twitter Predicts Citation Rates of Ecological Research.” PloS one 11.11 (2016): e0166570. https://uofi.box.com/s/ka8p7tu659yhz41curuucun2krggujtf

… and you should come to THAT too! Monday April 10, ERML 138, 12-1pm. (Feel free to come without having read the paper.)