Scientists, Artists, and Science Communicators Invited to Team Up Against COVID-19

June 13, 2020

Media Contact:
Heather Thorstensen
Manager of Communications
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society or (919) 549-4691 ext. 216

Update: Due to overwhelming interest, we have exceeded capacity. The application for #SciCommMake will close at 5:00 p.m. ET on June 26, 2020. 


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC—An awards competition that brings together scientists, artists, and science communicators to deliver evidence-based information to the public is returning for a special session to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will focus on helping the public prepare for the next wave of challenges related to COVID-19, such as understanding future treatments and navigating the anticipated second wave of outbreaks. Those who wish to participate may apply for #SciCommMake by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 26, 2020. 

Up to 30 applicants will be selected to participate in #SciCommMake, which does not require a registration fee. Participants will attend a matchmaking session on or after June 29, where teams will be formed. Teams will have two weeks for coaching and project development before pitching their ideas to an expert panel of judges. Ten teams will be selected for $1,000 awards to complete their projects, thanks to generous donations collected on Giving Tuesday Now by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society.

Additionally, Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC) will sponsor a $1,000 award for a team that includes a science communicator from North Carolina.

All #SciCommMake events will occur virtually. #SciCommMake is hosted by Sigma Xi and Science Talk.

The winning teams will be invited to present their projects at the virtual Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference from November 5–8, 2020. The meeting’s theme examines what art and science can achieve together that neither could accomplish alone. Teams will also be invited to present at Science Talk’s annual conference, Science Talk ’21, in Portland, Oregon, from March 25–26. 

Scientists of all disciplines, e.g., virology, epidemiology, molecular biology, psychology, behavioral science, who can apply their expertise to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to participate. Artists who participated in the first #SciCommMake included documentary filmmakers, dancers, sculptors, graphic designers, and cartoonists. Two projects were selected to receive funding and to present at Sigma Xi’s annual conference.

“We’re excited to introduce scientists to the people and resources available to them through the science communication and creative communities, and for the projects the teams will produce to help the public respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis,” said Jamie Vernon, executive director and CEO of Sigma Xi. “In the long-term, we hope science communication researchers will view these projects as an opportunity for study.”

People who are interested in participating in #SciCommMake should complete the sign-up form.

More about Science Talk: Science Talk is a professional society that empowers and inspires the science communication community to expand their communication potential and affect the world. Science Talk provides professional development and networking opportunities through annual conferences, blogs, community discussions, online courses, and more. On Twitter: @ScienceTalkOrg.

More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety