News & blog #SciComm15 was a huge success This year's Science Communication Conference featured a broad and varied programme, and brought together a diverse group of delegates - with 350 journalists, practitioners, academics, press officers and researchers in attendance. Thursday kicked off with a truly inspirational keynote from Jess Thom, founder of Touretteshero, which set the tone for this year’s event. Jess talked about universal themes - including athentic communication; reaching new audiences; taking a creative, brave and inclusive approach; and being prepared to fail - while telling a personal narrative about her condition and her experiences. The keynote focussed and energised everyone, getting us fired up to start looking ahead to how we might solve some of the issues facing the sector. Other sessions on Thursday, such as ‘barriers to engaging’, ‘does dialogue really do anything?’, and ‘guide to creating toolkits’, covered the breadth of science communication, and sparked useful discussions. After speed mentoring and an improvisation workshop, delegates enjoyed a ‘Science Ceilidh’ and drinks reception, supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Friday started with a lively panel debate about how and whether scientists should be opinion-formers outside their fields, followed by diverse workshops on the history of science, the making culture, and producing podcasts. The ‘funders anonymous’ session allowed delegates to gain an insight into the minds of funders including the Wellcome Trust, Royal Society of Chemistry and Crowdfunder. Meanwhile, the bad bugs book club generated stimulating discussion about Nemesis by Phillip Roth. The final afternoon was dedicated to our new ‘challenge sessions’. This was the first time we'd run these more energetic, 'workshop style' sessions at the Conference - they addressed a series of key issues, including: hype in science media, diversity, citizen science and the new Government. We have received good feedback so far, and would like to thank the speakers and delgates for their contributions towards the discussions; giving us lots of positives to improve on for 2016. Once again, we would also like to say thank you to our partners, the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society of Chemistry, for their support, and our terrific hosts, Manchester Metropolitan University. We are hoping to storify some of the key sessions, but meanwhile, do take a look at #SciComm15 on twitter. 2016 Conference We are currently looking for a venue partner for the Science Communication Conference 2016. The deadline for expressions of interest is 17 July 2015. Details on how to submit a proposal can be found in this document.