Talking Science Workshop

The "Talking Science Workshop" will be held on December 12 and 13, 2017, at the Biopark Rosental, Basel. This event is open to both female and male NCCR MSE members.


The aim of the workshop is to train scientists to communicate their work clearly and effectively. Members of the NCCR MSE have various backgrounds – ranging from biology and chemistry to physics, computer science and engineering. The work in such an interdisciplinary research environment poses additional communication challenges for scientists, but unfortunately, science communication is usually not part of the curriculum. This workshop aims to fill this gap.

Misunderstandings of scientific topics are ubiquitous and can have serious consequences, especially when communicated to the media. We believe that scientists have a responsibility to communicate their work clearly and precisely. Scientists should be aware of misleading simplifications and typical pitfalls, especially when talking to non-experts. In this workshop, we also discuss contemporary problems of popular science communication and provide tools to handle difficult discussions and situations.


Biopark Rosental, BPR 1060, room 2.14 (2nd floor).


The workshop is limited to max. 12 participants! To register, send an email to Ralf Stutzki: ralf.stutzki(at)


This workshop is highly interactive: we use hands-on exercises and feedback from both peers and lecturers to teach the techniques and apply the skills learned in the lessons.


Day 1

  • Introduction & Motivation
  • Exercise 1: Warm-up, learn about your communication style, learn about the challenges of being a good communicator.
  • Exercise 2: How to make a clear talk and to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Exercise 3: How to communicate effectively, how to catch and keep the attention.
  • Homework: Prepare a 2-minute talk about your project for a lay audience.

Day 2

  • Exercise 4: How to handle unexpected situations/questions.
  • Mini Science Slam: short talks by participants with optional recording, feedback & discussion.

This workshop has been developed over the last 2 years: A similar workshop was initially offered at the Department for Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH in Basel. In 2017, the idea was supported by the BOOST initiative of the University of Basel and Talking Science has been offered 5 times as a 3.5 h-workshop – in total with 64 participants from 12 different departments.


Janina Linnik: Winner of the Swiss national science communication competition FameLab in Basel in 2015, PhD student at ETH Zurich. After her graduation in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the Free University Berlin, Janina Linnik joined ETH Zurich in 2015 for an interdisciplinary PhD with Prof. Stelling in mathematics and immunology, where she works together with biologists and doctors from the University Hospital Basel. Since 2016, Janina Linnik is the vice-president of the Science Slam Club Basel (, where she organizes and participates in various science communication events and competitions (e.g. FameLab, Science Slam, Fest der Moleküle, Fantasy Basel).

Oskari Vinko: Winner of the international science communication competition FameLab in Cheltanham in 2015, co-founder at UniteLabs. Oskari Vinko studied engineering physics and molecular biology in Finland (B. Sc.) and graduated in biotechnology from ETH Zurich (M. Sc.) in 2016. In 2017, he received an ETH pioneer fellowship to work on his sturtup idea at UniteLabs, where he works together with engineers and software architects on easy and affordable lab automation devices for life scientists ( Oskari Vinko participated in several communication competitions such as FameLab and Falling Walls.

Peer Mentoring Community

Read more  about the peer mentoring community platform for female PhD students and postdocs of this NCCR, and find out about their upcoming meetings.