Science Communication Careers


Science communication is an incredibly diverse career path for graduate students and postdocs seeking to disseminate scientific information to the public – through formats such as journalism, multimedia, policy, education outreach, writing, and editing to name a few.  As trainees, how do you effectively transfer the communication skills developed during your coursework, lab training, and dissertation writing to the workplace? Join us for this panel and learn how our alumni have utilized their research background and training to succeed in various avenues of science communication.


Kyle Dolan, Head of Science & Innovation, British Consulate-General, Chicago (PhD 2012 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Postdoc 2012-2016)

Dr. Kyle Dolan is Head of Science & Innovation at the British Consulate-General, Chicago, and a Senior Officer in the UK Science & Innovation Network. Kyle works with universities, businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations to catalyze strategic partnerships that support the UK's science and technology agenda. Prior to joining BCG Chicago, Kyle spent 9 years at the University of Chicago: he completed a Ph.D. in the BMB program in the laboratory of Prof. Chuan He, and later did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Eugene Chang. During his time at UChicago, Kyle was active on both the Dean's Council and the BSD Postdoctoral Association. As a member of the PDA, he served as chair of both the Public Affairs Committee and the Symposium Committee, and helped lead the organization of the Future of Research Chicago Symposium in October 2015. LinkedIn

Patricia Ward, Director, Science Exhibitions and Partnerships, Museum of Science and Industry (PhD Immunology 1988)

Dr. Patricia Ward provides broad science leadership across the Museum of Science and Industry’s exhibition work, leading creative teams of exhibit developers, designers, writers, and media producers. She earned a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Chicago and was a NIH post-doctoral fellow in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at the U of C before joining the Museum in 1999. In 2012, Dr. Ward was a Noyce Leadership Institute Fellow and in 2013, she was named a fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In her 17 years at the Museum, Dr. Ward has produced exhibitions on various science topics including genetics, health, energy, and climate change, and has been active in numerous outreach efforts including public symposia and workshops for teachers and pre-college students. She develops partnerships with universities and other organizations that synergize with the Museum’s efforts to bring current, relevant science content to the general public and school audiences. Recent exhibition projects include the award-winning Future Energy Chicago and YOU! The Experience. LinkedIn

Joel Cavallo, Medical Science Liaison, Synergy Pharmaceuticals (Postdoc Psychology 2014-2016)

Dr. Joel Cavallo was trained as an interdisciplinary scientist in Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology, and received his dual Ph.D. at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana in 2012. He spent the majority of his graduate work investigating the neural correlates of memory and associative learning using electrophysiology and single-cell imaging in a colorful sea slug (Hermissenda). Joel then became a post-doctoral fellow in the Committee on Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics Program at the University of Chicago, and was jointly appointed in the department of Psychiatry. At the University of Chicago, Joel conducted research to characterize and treat the conditioned nausea that can occur in cancer patients during chemotherapy. He also investigated the genesis of addiction-related behaviors by understanding how environmental cues become conditioned to drugs and help perpetuate drug abuse behavior. Joel is now delighted to be a Medical Science Liaison for Synergy Pharmaceuticals in the field of gastroenterology, and welcomes the opportunity to impact patient care in the area of constipation as an educator and scientific resource. LinkedIn

Emily Conover, Science Journalist, Science News (PhD Physics 2014)

Emily Conover is the physics reporter for Science News, the magazine of the Society for Science and the Public. She has also written for the American Physical Society, Science Magazine, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She received her PhD in physics from the University of Chicago in 2014. LinkedIn


Connie Lee, Associate Dean for Basic Science, BSD