The Wisconsin Science Festival is a four-day interactive event dedicated to the exploration of science, technology, engineering, art and math. For seven years it has been known to bridge the gap between science and community and this year a series of campus-based panels will strengthen that bond through a focus on science communication and policy.

One of these panels will be moderated by Dr. Knatokie Ford, Founder and CEO of Fly Sci Enterprise, a science communication consulting firm.

The panel, titled Communicating Science in the 21st Century, will discuss the ways scientists can make their research more accessible to the public through different communication methods.

As a former Senior Policy Adviser for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Obama, Ford recognizes the importance of getting accurate information about scientific contributions to the masses.

“It’s important to be able to communicate your work broadly, so going beyond expert audiences,” she say.

The panel will be “looking at the role of media and how it impacts public perception of science and how we can be more strategic about using media as a tool for social change especially in the STEM workforce,” Ford says.

The panelists will represent a range of backgrounds, including NOVA Senior Producer Chris Schmidt, Dominique Brossard from UW-Madison’s Department of Life Sciences Communications, John Hawks from UW-Madison’s Department of Anthropology, Holly Walter Kerby from Wisconsin Story Works, Cathy Techtmann from UW-Extension, and Khoa Tran a graduate student in molecular and cellular pharmacology.

Hawks and Kerby will follow with panel with breakout workshops on blogging and storytelling.

“It’s important for people to be aware of contributions that scientist make to everyday life and even to solving some our most pressing challenges that impact the world in several domains,” says Ford. “I think it’s important for scientists to understand the necessity of broader audiences to understand the work that they’re doing.”

The event will take place on November 3 from 2 p.m. to 5:30p.m. at the Discovery Building, 330 N Orchard Street.