Speak Simply about Your Job
As a chemist, you understand that chemistry is all around us. As a Chemistry Ambassador, you see opportunities to talk about chemistry all around you, too.
Chat up chemistry.
No matter where you go or who you’re talking to, you have a chance to improve someone’s understanding of your profession. Whether at a neighborhood barbeque or a cocktail party, or when discussing current events with a non-scientist, there’s bound to be an opportunity to shine a positive light on your profession.
Everyday conversations are great opportunities to shape others’ perceptions of who chemists are and what chemists do. And there’s no better spokesperson for chemistry than you!
Allison Fox, a geochemistry graduate student at Penn State University, attempts to explain her research before Speak Simply training and after. Which version do you think will appeal most to non-scientists?
How can you speak simply about chemistry?
- What Do You Do?
Answer the question “What do you do?” in a way that anyone can understand and appreciate
- Communicating with Others about Your Research
Focus on the “why,” not the “how” of what you do. Learn to talk the benefits of what you do rather than the technical mumbo-jumbo.
- Real Conversation Starters
Develop your own simple and quick explanation of your work that anyone can appreciate
- Share Why You’re Proud to Be a Chemist
Tell others how chemistry improves people’s lives and why you’re proud to be a chemist
- Make Everyday Connections to Chemistry
Help non-scientists understand how chemistry connects to their daily lives and current events
- Tell Your Story and Tell it Often
Review sample scripts that demonstrate how easy it is to leave behind a positive message about chemistry
Real Conversation Starters
“I’m a chemist and I’m discovering how drugs in our water are affecting the growth of our crops.”
- Kyle Butzine, ACS Student Member