Science Communication Workshop & Performance

Science Communication Workshop & Performance by ScicomHD

Scicom Workshop 1: Wednesday, September 1, 2021 / 17:15 – 19:00

Scicom Workshop 2: Thursday, September 2, 2021 / 18:30 – 20:30

Live Performance and Competition: Friday, September 3 / 20:00

ECI 2021 will be a offering a unique event as part of the virtual social program. 2-day interactive science communication workshop will end with a live performance by the award winning science communicator, Dr. Dmitry Kopelyanskiy and a competition on Friday evening. Science-Com is an online event combining an interactive science communication workshop (Scicom-W) and a live performance and competition (Scicom-5mins) prepared by the international prize winning “ScicomHD” team based in Heidelberg, Germany ( Please find details below and email to sign up for the workshops.

We very much look forward to this interesting, entertaining and inspiring program by ScicomHD and Dr. Veli Vural Uslu.


ECI 2021 Science Communication Workshop & Performance: Science-Com

Science-Com is an online event combining an interactive science communication workshop (Scicom-W) and live performance (Scicom-5mins) prepared by the “ScicomHD” team based in Heidelberg, Germany (

Scicom-W is an intensive two-hour long session introducing novel methods to communicate complicated scientific topics to a wide range of audience regardless of their educational background. Three main aspects of science communication will be at the focus of the workshop: Time management, Structure of storytelling and Rules of capturing attention. The participants will be provided with the state-of-the-art scientific literature addressing these challenges. More importantly each participant will be able to practice the method of choice and discuss the outcome with the trainer and the other participants during the workshop in order to find the most fitting approach to their personality and aims.

Typically a few days after the workshop, volunteers will have the chance to gain experience and to witness their improvement in science communication in front a large audience during a live-streamed interactive event called Scicom-5mins. In this event, the speakers will have five minutes to deliver their topic of interest without any power- point presentation in the clearest, the most creative and the most appealing way possible. More details about Scicom-5mins will be provided later in this booklet.

Scicom-W: Science Communication Workshop

September 1, 2021 / 17:15 CET

September 2, 2021 / 18:30 CET

The workshop is organized for minimum six, maximum twelve participants in a teleconference platform. The duration of the workshop is between 105-120 minutes, depending on the number of participants.

The content:

0) Pre-Workshop

Participants choose the topic that they would like to talk about. It can be anything between their scientific interests and a cooking recipe. There is no need to prepare a talk. The only preparation is simply deciding on the subject.

1) Time Management (30mins)

The Problem: No matter how important your topic is and how well you are prepared for the talk, the major factor that determines how you deliver your message is the attention span of the audience. Pretty much anything can be distractive for the attention of the audience but among them the duration of the talk has arguably the most significant impact. Scientists are tempted to give a precise and wholistic view on a certain topic, which leads to lengthy talks with no success in conveying a message.

The Solution:
a) The methods to prepare a compact speech without losing the essence of the message will be formulated and be presented with extensive examples. b) The approaches of time tracking while giving a talk will be discussed.

2) Structure of Storytelling (15mins)

The Problem: Technical and scientific topics are almost exclusively delivered in a chronological storyline. It is very easy and intuitive to prepare talks in this structure as it is linear and blunt. However, it is not only distracting but also less memorable.

The Solution: Linkages and associations are very critical for establishing a memory. By introducing more connections within a storyline, it is possible to attract more attention and deliver a more catchy and memorable talk. Essential information in a story should be revisited at least once from an alternative angle in an effective talk. In a good science communication practice, connecting the beginning and the end of the talk makes the story very powerful. In the workshop, various examples and approaches to form the structure of a compelling story will be presented.

3) Rules of capturing attention (30mins)

The Problem: The audience is interested in the topics, which they can relate to themselves. While giving talks about science to people without science background, capturing the attention of the audience become a major challenge.

The Solution: A three partite approach of capturing the attention will be presented. This approach includes the following layers: a) A rapid analysis of the audience b) Presenting yourself as a relatable person to the audience c) Connecting the attentive introduction to the topic of your talk.

4) Last practice round (35mins)

The participants will give a talk about their topics of interest. The speakers are expected to

a) capture the attention of the audience,
b) structure their stories
c) talk no longer than 2 minutes.

Each participant will have a round of feedback session from the workshop trainer.

5) Final Evaluation (10mins)

The trainer asks for feedback about the workshop content and the execution of Scicom-W. In addition, participants may exchange contact and additional feedback. Finally, Scicom-5mins event format is briefly introduced to the participants for calling volunteer speakers in the event.

Scicom-5mins: Online science communication competition

September 3, 2021 / 20:00 CET

Scicom-5mins is carried out with one moderator, five volunteer speakers, and active participation of the audience. In addition, a well-known science communication celebrity will also deliver a talk for kick-off. Each speaker is introduced by the moderator and has 5 minutes to give a talk without using any PowerPoint tools. The talks should give “necessary” amount of information to the audience and provoke their curiosity. Afterwards the audience asks questions to the speakers.

The questions are evaluated by the speakers according to the criteria given below.

  1.  The most sceptic question (Sherlock award)
  2.  The most obvious question (Captain Obvious award)
  3.  The most show-off question(Sheldon Cooper award)
  4.  Ig Nobel question (Sponsor-Winner award for the question that make people laugh, and then make them think)

The best question of each category is awarded by the organizers. Therefore, it is not a competition among the speakers but in the audience. A typical Scicom-5mins event consists of 25 minutes of talks and lasts 100 minutes in total.


scicomHD Trainer for ECI 2021: Dr. Veli Vural Uslu


Dr. Uslu graduated from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey as the top-ranking student. He finished his PhD on developmental genetics at EMBL-Heidelberg with the prestigious Darwin-Trust Prize. He took a postdoc position at Uni-Heidelberg in plant physiology department as a long term
EMBO-Fellow. Currently, he is a Project leader at AgroScience GmbH in Germany and lectures at Uni-Heidelberg. He has first author publications in reputable journals like Nature and Nature Genetics. He is the founder and the director of Heidelberg Science Theater since 2015. He founded theater-based science communication training initiative “ScicomHD” in 2018 and since then he has been offering workshops and events for graduate students and researchers all around Europe, particularly in Germany. In 2018, Dr. Uslu became the national winner of the biggest science communication competition worldwide -FameLab- in Germany, and as the representative of Germany he came runner up in the international Famelab 2018 competition.



You can register for free by sending your below details to

Phone number: (for workshop communication)