In a time marked by scientific discovery and technological advancement, a new report identifies a promising area for greater investment by science philanthropies: communication.
The report, Identifying Best Practices for Communications Workforce at Science Philanthropies, was developed through a collaboration by the Rita Allen, Albert and Mary Lasker, and John Templeton Foundations to identify challenges and opportunities in science philanthropy communications. Philanthropy’s contributions are critical to advancing scientific research, providing essential support for new ideas and major initiatives. However, the report finds, science philanthropies can amplify their impact considerably by investing more purposefully in communications as a central part of their strategy.
Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and CEO of the Rita Allen Foundation, Claire Pomeroy, President of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, and Heather Templeton Dill, President of the John Templeton Foundation, have written a joint op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy highlighting takeaways from the report for philanthropic leaders.
“Advancing the public’s understanding of science and its role in society, and ensuring that the important work being conducted by our grantees and their colleagues informs broader public debate, is a collective responsibility,” they write. “Scientists and their supporters must learn to have more meaningful conversations—rooted in listening—with a wide range of people, including parents, patients, local officials, nonprofit executives, business owners, and people from communities that have historically been excluded from decision-making about science.”