Science Riot is an educational 501(c)(3) promoting public enthusiasm for science, founded in 2016 at the base of Pikes Peak mountain in Colorado. Our team represents fifty combined years of hard-earned experience in a field with few experts: informal outreach programs for voting-age adults. Since receiving initial guidance from University College London about their popular Bright Club format, we have refined and developed a unique training syllabus with feedback from professional comedians and hundreds of scientists. What began as a grass-roots effort has now grown to several cities where we provide a training pipeline for amateur science communicators and a safe environment for scientists and audiences to share perspectives. Click here to download our 2020 Services Brochure.
A Science Communication Practicum
Our mission is to increase and diversify the pool of trained and talented professionals who can find their voice, be heard in their communities, and improve representation of scientific professions. The best place to start is changing how we talk about science.
Our flagship program is a month long immersion in "late night" comedy writing and performance that culminates in entertaining public showcase events where real scientists deliver polished comedy talks for live adult audiences. This unique practicum provides immediate validation of skills they have learned, and leads directly to greater scientist participation in outreach.
Scientists are unanimously concerned about science literacy but lack the necessary training, opportunity, and confidence to engage in public conversations about today’s most pressing issues. Our program is unique in that we reach the voting-age public whose demand for scientific programming has been undervalued, and also train scientists to meet that ongoing need.
Engaging Adult Audiences
From turn-key events to integrating and training institution staff in public event management, we have produced events from university classrooms to concert halls, conferences, and state-wide science festivals. Few institutions invest in public programming for adult demographics but engaging voting-age adults is increasingly important if we want to maintain support and relevancy in society.
Our flagship program is a profit-sharing venture funded through public ticket sales, ensuring the training is free for all participants. Series are typically scheduled quarterly and simply require a venue for 200-300 attendees with alcohol sales. Outreach doesn't have to be an expense line, all you have to do is open the doors.
Research shows that comedy and pop-culture are two factors that draw in audiences who have a low-affinity for science. While many science communication events cater to an academic crowd, and these events are important and valuable, our approach is appeals to attendees who may not possess a science degree. We create a safe and entertaining environment for the public to have conversations with local experts.
Authentic Voices in Science
Besides the confidence-building of our training, we also guide scientists as they develop unique, entertaining, and educational content ready for public consumption through print or digital distribution. With topics such as "What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper?" to "Teaching Evolution to Tibetan Monks", our experts have already put in the hard work of making topics in science accessible for wide audiences.
Our approach to humor-based content development can be applied to any presentation, paper, or multimedia project. Let us help you find new stories, perspectives, and approaches to reframe discussions about science.
Innovating in Science Popularization
We believe in the power of humor-based media training to connect with broad audiences, make difficult topics accessible, and humanize scientists without undermining the seriousness of their professions. Our experience in informal outreach and communications training can help to develop and diversify your adult-facing public programs:
MARKETING & BRANDING
Is your public marketing content appropriate and effective? Organizations must respectfully engage with cultural contexts and adapt to shifting public attitudes about controversial topics in science communication. Our training fosters safe dialogues and new approaches.
DIGITAL SPEAKERS BUREAU
Are you tired of the same old celebrities making the rounds? We can provide your media programs with a roster of subject matter experts who can better represent their fields of study and the diversity of scientists today.
SCIENCE FESTIVAL PLANNING
We have experience directing state-wide science festivals, establishing STEM coalitions, and integrating with large-scale cultural events. Nontraditional venues and collaborations represent an untapped market for outreach.
TARGETED ADULT OUTREACH
We’ve learned that many institutions haven’t invested in adult audiences due to a lack of experience. Our research shows that outreach event format can be catered to attract and engage specific demographics from outside of academia.
Our services are in high demand from undergraduate professors and post-graduate student groups. By converting our established syllabus into university courseware and resources, we can impart valuable skills to students who are eager to make an impact.
The way we process spoken-word differs from written language in many important ways that can distract from your message. Apply our lessons from the stage to your recording studio and ensure that your scripts aren’t detracting from your conversations.