Cary Scientist Launches Research Communication Firm

Cary, NC — One of the latest female-owned small businesses to launch in Cary is called Data Soapbox, a firm dedicated to promoting the effective communication of research study results.

Under the ownership of Dr. Lori Palen, the firm is aimed at helping clients to merge science and design.

Turning Passion into a New Career

Data Soapbox partners with scientists and organizations in the public health, education, and human service sectors to develop data-driven presentations, reports, and infographics.

Palen holds a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State. She also has training and experience in business marketing, graphic design, and journalism.

For nearly two decades, Palen studied tweens, teens, and young adults, with a focus on strategies to prevent drug use, risky sexual behavior, and interpersonal violence.

“I was responsible for all parts of the research process, from designing and executing research studies to analyzing data and sharing the results,” Palen said. “But I began to realize that I was most passionate about communicating research findings to people who could use them to improve lives.”

Addressing the Need in Data Storytelling

Each year, about 2.6 million peer-reviewed science and engineering journal articles and conference papers are published worldwide, according to the National Science Foundation. However, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences rarely reach people like policymakers, human service practitioners, educators, and parents.

Reaching those groups requires products like policy briefs, newsletter articles, social media content, and pieces in mass media.

“Unfortunately, scientists don’t typically receive much training in effective public communication, and communication designers aren’t typically trained in the theories and methodologies that underlie science,” Palen said.

“Data Soapbox bridges those two worlds. We apply best practices in communication while also accurately representing the science and being sensitive to researchers’ goals and challenges.”

Get in Touch

Data Soapbox is open for business and ready to partner with researchers and human service professionals to help them inform, inspire, grow and thrive. For further information on services provided by Data Soapbox, you can reach Dr. Palen by email or by calling (984)345-3282.

Story by Community Contributor. Photos courtesy of Dr. Lori Palen.

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