The Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy (WISL) is currently offering a $250 award to each UW-Madison chemistry Ph.D. candidate who includes in their thesis a chapter that communicates their research to non-specialists. This chapter is to share the candidate’s scholarly research and its significance in a way that a wider audience ­ family members, friends, civic groups, reporters, state legislators, and members of the U.S. Congress ­ understands. Equally important to communicate are the imagination, creativity, and fulfillment that discovery in science involves. Communicating the role and value of the chemical sciences to non-specialists is an important responsibility. WISL expects all Ph.D. students to excel as scientists and encourages each to be a responsible scientist-citizen by fostering public engagement with science.

Purposeful communication of the critical role of science and technology in society can help shape attitudes of the general public and can also foster collaboration among people to work together across boundaries in order to solve global challenges. WISL aims to motivate Ph.D. candidates to be thoughtful, creative, and innovative in their communication of chemistry. Many Ph.D. degree recipients have successfully completed their theses including such a chapter. You can read their work online here. For more information on how to qualify for this award, contact