Save the Date: Regina Nuzzo to Speak at ComSciCon-VATech 2020

Head shot of Regina Nuzzo, a young white woman with long light brown hair, glasses, and a big smile.
Statistician and science journalist Regina Nuzzo will keynote ComSciCon-VATech 2020.

The date is set for ComSciCon-VATech 2020–February 27 and 28–and we are thrilled to announce that statistician and science journalist Regina Nuzzo will serve as keynote speaker.

Nuzzo, who holds a PhD in statistics from Stanford University, is senior advisor for statistics communication and media innovation for the American Statistical Association. She has worked for the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Energy and has published in The New York Times, Nature, Scientific American, Science News, and many other venues. Her science journalism focuses on data, statistics, probability, and the research process.

We’re also excited that Susan Chen and Stephanie Edwards Compton, both PhD students in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise at Virginia Tech, have volunteered to co-chair the organizing committee for ComSciCon-VATech 2020.

ComSciCon, a communicating science conference organized by graduate students, for graduate students, made its first appearance at Virginia Tech on March 7 and 8.

Rhetoric and writing PhD student Allison Hutchison–soon to be on her way to Cornell University for her new job as senior lecturer in the engineering communications program–spearheaded the effort to bring experts together to provide workshops and presentations for 60 graduate students.

Originally hosted in 2014 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for graduate students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, the “flagship” ComSciCon has grown to serve students from across the United States and around the world with its annual conference. Its reach now extends to locally franchised workshops. Virginia Tech was one of 10 franchise workshops across the continent this year, in company with North Carolina’s Research Triangle; Atlanta, Georgia; Michigan; New York; Canada; and others.

Virginia Tech’s Center for Communicating Science (CCS) served as campus sponsor for ComSciCon-VATech, along with the Rhetoric Club, the Global Change Center, and the Graduate School.

ComSciCon-VATech events included a “Connecting Across Difference” workshop provided by the CCS; luncheon plenary speaker David Perry, hosted by the University Libraries and the Center for Humanities; a public reception at the Lyric Theatre; and the following workshops:

  • Finding the Kernel of Your Research (Brenen Wynd, Brynn O’Donnell, Maddy Grupper)
  • Communicating Data Visually with Tableau and Excel(Jane Robertson Evia)
  • Finding the Story in Your Science (Katie Burke)
  • Tweeting Science (Derek Hennen and Nick Caruso)
  • “I didn’t say that!”: Ensuring Accuracy with the Media(Cassandra Hockman, Robby Korth, and Jordan Metzgar)
  • Designing Science Communication with the Library Studios(Eleanor Boggs)
  • Write-a-Thon: Blogging & NPR Story Writing(Skylar Hopkins and Dana Hawley)

We look forward to ComSciCon-VATech 2020! If you’re interested in joining the organizing committee, facilitating a workshop, or contributing to the conference in other ways, please contact or


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