Boot Camps

Covering and communicating the evidence: adolescent health – POSTPONED

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NOTE: This boot camp has been postponed, but will be held on a date TBD when conditions allow.


SciLine will host Covering and Communicating the Evidence: Adolescent Health, an all-expenses-paid, 2.5-day boot camp inviting scientists and journalists to learn together and from each other—with the shared goal of becoming better able to convey research-based evidence to the public. This boot camp is designed to deepen journalists’ knowledge about emerging adolescent health and behavioral issues and build communication skills among scientists conducting research in related fields, while also fostering trust, understanding, and cooperation between these two groups.

The course will include separate learning sessions tailored to the needs of attending journalists and researchers as well as joint exercises aimed at enhancing professional cooperation. Researchers will participate in focused communications and media training—including opportunities to practice being interviewed on camera—while journalists will get up to speed on the science behind newsworthy issues facing today’s teens through lectures and discussions led by visiting faculty members. The two groups will also work together in joint sessions aimed at increasing understanding of each other’s professional needs and expectations.

Our rationale: reporters and scientists have a lot in common, including deep curiosity about the world, an interest in investigation and discovery, commitment to accuracy, and the desire to communicate findings for societal benefit. Both groups—and the public—stand to gain from enhanced cooperation at the science-journalism nexus, yet each group’s expectations of the other are not always fully aligned. This new model of joint training is a unique opportunity for reporters and scientific experts with shared topical interests to develop the skills needed to achieve that together, on equal footing.

WHAT: SciLine will host Covering the Evidence: Adolescent Health, an all-expenses-paid, 2.5-day boot camp designed to deepen journalists’ knowledge of evolving challenges in adolescent health and behavior; build communication skills among the scientists conducting related research; and foster trust and understanding between these two professional groups. In addition to joint activities with scientists aimed at enhancing professional cooperation, journalists will get up to speed on the research behind newsworthy issues facing today’s teens, including:

  • Vaping and health: Learn how e-cigarette use affects the health of young people, including insights about physical health effects, addiction, and uptake of traditional smoking.
  • Screens and social media: Get up to speed on how technology and social media influence teens’ physical, psychological, and behavioral wellness.
  • Mental health disparities: Hear from experts about the socioeconomic factors, access issues, and race and gender-based disparities that affect adolescent mental health outcomes.
  • Education equity: Understand the state of research on how teens learn, the social determinants of academic success, and the drivers of achievement gaps.

WHY: Reporters and scientists have a lot in common: deep curiosity about the world, an interest in investigation and discovery, commitment to accuracy, and the desire to communicate findings for societal benefit. Both groups—and the public—stand to gain from enhanced cooperation at the science-journalism nexus, yet each group’s expectations of the other are not always fully aligned. This new model of joint training is a unique opportunity for reporters and scientific experts with shared topical interests to develop the skills needed to achieve that together, on equal footing.

WHEN AND WHERE: This boot camp has been postponed, but will be held on a date TBD when conditions allow. This is a no-cost event; all travel, accommodation, meals, and program costs will be covered by SciLine’s philanthropic grants.

WHO SHOULD APPLY: This boot camp is designed to be useful to journalists who already cover or may in the future cover health, education, or other school-related stories in their communities. The course will be accessible to reporters without deep backgrounds in science and will feature clear, research-based presentations without preference for specific political or policy perspectives.

SciLine strives to increase the diversity of voices in science journalism. We encourage reporters of diverse backgrounds—including gender identity, race and ethnicity, geographic location, level of seniority, and other factors—to apply.

NOTE: To be eligible, applicants must be based in the United States or Canada.

YOUR HOSTS: Covering the Evidence: Adolescent Health is offered by SciLine, a philanthropically supported, free service for journalists, based at the nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science. The course is hosted at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)—a public research university known for innovative teaching, relevant research across disciplines, and a supportive community that empowers and inspires inquisitive minds from all backgrounds.

WHAT: SciLine will host Covering the Evidence: Adolescent Health, an all-expenses-paid, 2.5-day boot camp designed to build media skills among researchers studying public health, social and behavioral science, and learning science; deepen journalists’ knowledge of related issues they are covering in the news; and foster trust and understanding between these two professional groups. In addition to joint activities aimed at enhancing professional cooperation, researchers will receive media-focused communications training, including sessions on:

  • On-camera TV skills: Practice being interviewed on camera and come away with clips to take home for personal and professional use.
  • Honing messages for a media audience: Learn strategies for conveying technical concepts to reporters and practice distilling “sound bites” about scientific topics.
  • What to expect from a news interview: Learn what reporters need and expect from expert-sources and techniques to maximize your contributions to a news story.
  • Relationship-building with journalists: Participate in co-learning sessions and interviews with reporters who cover child and adolescent health, behavior, learning, and schools and education.

WHY: Scientists and reporters have much in common: deep curiosity about the world, an interest in investigation and discovery, commitment to accuracy, and the desire to communicate findings for societal benefit. Both groups—and the public—stand to gain from enhanced cooperation at the science-journalism nexus, yet each group’s expectations of the other are not always fully aligned. This new model of joint training is a unique opportunity for reporters and scientific experts with shared topical interests to develop the skills needed to achieve that together, on equal footing.

WHEN AND WHERE: This boot camp has been postponed, but will be held on a date TBD when conditions allow. This is a no-cost event; all travel, accommodation, meals, and program costs will be covered by SciLine’s philanthropic grants.

WHO SHOULD APPLY: This boot camp is designed to be useful to scientists and clinician-researchers in public health, social and behavioral science, and learning science relevant to school-aged youth. The course will include media-focused communications training that is applicable across disciplines and opportunities to interact with journalists reporting on issues in related domains.

SciLine strives to increase the diversity of voices in science journalism. We encourage scientists with diverse backgrounds—including gender identity, race and ethnicity, geographic location, level of seniority, and other factors—to apply.

NOTE: To be eligible, applicants must be based in the United States or Canada.

YOUR HOSTS: Covering the Evidence: Adolescent Health is offered by SciLine, a philanthropically supported, free service for journalists, based at the nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science. The course is hosted at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)—a public research university known for innovative teaching, relevant research across disciplines, and a supportive community that empowers and inspires inquisitive minds from all backgrounds.