A biochemist who brings a microscope everywhere she goes, Jeanne Garbarino wants everyone to see the importance of science in everyday life. As executive director of RockEDU Science Outreach, she leads a team at The Rockefeller University dedicated to connecting scientists, teachers, students, and classrooms to foster mutual learning around the scientific process, and an understanding of how communities can come together to promote equitable access to scientific opportunity.
In 2022 she served as a strategic partner and host for the Kavli SciComm Essentials Series, a multifaceted year-long curriculum of virtual science communication and public engagement webinars and workshops, developed based on strong interest from Kavli Institute members. She worked with the foundation’s Science and Society team, led by director Brooke Smith.
“We were excited to partner with Jeanne on the Kavli SciComm Essentials Series. Her experience partnering with scientists to share the process, products, and humanity of science, as well as her leadership in the field of public engagement, makes Jeanne the perfect partner to design and host this series,” said Smith.
The series covered topics such as data visualization, culturally relevant science communication, the power of narrative, media interviews, and more. For Garbarino, partnering with the foundation on this work was a chance to connect points from her own career in science, science communication, and community-building.
“With the Kavli SciComm Essentials Series, I was able to go deeper into the scholarly elements of science communication as a practice,” she said. “I loved combining what I’ve learned about communities, engagement, and culturally inclusive scientific practice with these other elements of science communication. I was able to merge those in the participation of the planning of this series.”
The program brought in organizations and thought leaders from across the science communication ecosystem, including the Science Communication Lab, the Story Collider, Liminal Creations, the Alda Center for Communicating Science, Portal to the Public, and Ciencia Puerto Rico, as well as Liz Neeley, Ed Young, Maddie Sofia, Mónica Feliú Mójer, Reyhaneh Maktoufi, and more.
As the 2022 program wraps up, Garbarino is excited to analyze the data along with the Science and Society team at the foundation, to inform future programming that aligns with the needs of the scientists attending – whether someone wants to listen to a conversation while they work at the bench, participate in a rigorous workshop, or a combination of both. They will also consider community aspects of this work, and how researchers across the Kavli Institutes can connect.
“One of the cool things about the Kavli SciComm Essentials Series is that we have participation from all sorts of Kavli Institutes, and it’s nice to see that people can meet each other in this space,” said Garbarino. “You never know what may come out of those relationships.”