The Science Communication Institute (SCI, formerly the National Science Communication Institute) is a 501c3 nonprofit public charity. Our mission is to help improve science collaboration, discovery, education and public policy by reforming the communication culture inside science.
Science does a poor job of communicating internally. Scientists write mostly for journals very few people read, most researchers don’t share their data effectively, public outreach and teaching aren’t adequately valued when it comes to promotion and tenure, and the incentives for more openness in science are misaligned and inequitable. In short, communication is an afterthought in science. As a result, science doesn’t discover as much as it might, education and public policy are weakened by science disinformation, and the full value of open science is left unrealized.
SCI is working to help science achieve its full potential by improving science communication tools, policies and practices. This is easier said than done. The culture of communication in science is deeply ingrained and the product of hundreds of years of evolution. SCI uses a project-based approach to affect change, developing and managing a variety of science communication projects.
The return on investment for improving science communication will benefit science and society for generations, resulting in more efficient research funding, better science, faster discovery and innovation, and better science education and science policy.
SCI’s board has varied in size over the years between five and 15 members. Board members represent a wide variety of research communication areas, and serve terms of two years minimum. Many members have been with SCI since our founding in 2011. As of mid-2023, we are in the process of identifying a new slate of directors. Please stay tuned to this space for more details.
Glenn Hampson, MPA, is the founder and executive director of the Science Communication Institute and program director of the Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI, an SCI project). Hampson has served as a senior project manager for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, communications director for the University of Washington, president of Castle Pacific Publishing Company, managing editor and webmaster for the World Bank Group, associate editor for the Riverside Publishing Company, and a field representative for the US Congress. Hampson holds degrees in public administration, history and astronomy, is a frequent international speaker on open science issues, and has authored several books and book chapters. He lives in Seattle with his wife and son where he coaches youth baseball, volunteers in schools, and dabbles in carpentry.
SCI receives funding for its projects from a variety of sources (see our project sites for details, such as osiglobal.org). These funds pass through SCI with no overhead charge; all funds are used for our projects, and nothing for rent, administration, or other costs. Our funders, who include foundations, intergovernmental organizations, scientific societies, publishers, and individual donors, do not influence our agenda nor do SCI’s opinions necessarily reflect the opinions of funders or their assigns (see our legal page for a dislaimer).
SCI’s recent tax filings are posted below. For more information, please see SCI’s profile on GuideStar at https://www.guidestar.org/profile/27-4690007
Most of the funding SCI has received since 2011 has been for our OSI project (the Open Scholarship Initiative), launched in 2015. The largest portion of this funding has been grants from UNESCO and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by other foundations, as well as by publishers and other groups in science communication. For more details, please see our annual reports.
Science Communication Institute
2320 N 137th Street
Seattle, WA 98133 USA
Email: [email protected]
Science communication has no broadly accepted definition. SCI takes a very broad view of this field, and has identified eight areas of science that rely heavily on effective communication and that can be targeted with improved communications. These areas are divided into two groups—those that involve science discovery tools and dynamics and those that involve improving science understanding. SCI’s “discovery” focus areas include research collaboration, informatics, study design, and tech transfer; “understanding” areas include science writing, STEM education, science marketing and public policy. SCI believes that science needs better communication tools and practices in these areas to help realize the full potential of research and also make faster advances in science education, science policy and other areas where science and society intersect.Learn More