From Pipette to Pen: Science Writing for General Audiences

Address to event

HMS, Cannon Room
240 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

In the era of fake news and alternative facts, communicating science clearly and effectively to the general public is more important than ever. From tweets to Facebook posts to news articles, there are countless media through which we can bring science to people from all walks of life. This nanocourse offers the opportunity to learn the basics of science writing for general, non-academic audiences through small group discussions and interactive workshops. Additionally, this course will include a panel of expert science writers from PBS NOVA, STAT, Addgene, and more to answer questions and offer advice for any scientist hoping to better communicate about science with beyond academia. Topics will include the basics of science writing, giving feedback and editing, and effectively engaging a diverse array of audiences through various forms of media. Finally, registered participants will compose, edit, and revise a piece of scientificwriting from start to finish with the help of professional science writers, with the ultimate goal of publication in a media outlet. This course is appropriate for any student interested in science communication, regardless of experience or background.

Class Assignment: Registered participants will write a piece geared towards general audiences that communicates a scientific concept using the skills taught during the first day of class. In the interim between classes, drafts will be distributed in small groups for peer-to-peer feedback. On the second day, we will cover skills and tips for effective editing and hold a small group workshop to practice editing and revising. Students will use this feedback to revise their pieces for the third day, where they will receive feedback from professional science writers from the Boston science journalism community. Finally, students will learn how to find appropriate venues for publication and pitch pieces to editors. All participants are encouraged to try to publish the pieces written for this class!

Course Instructors: Katie Wu, katherinejwu@g.harvard.edu, Kelsey Tyssowski,ktyssowski@gmail.com and Kim Hagel, khagel@g.harvard.edu
Course Director: Fred Winston, winston@genetics.med.harvard.edu
Curriculum Fellow: Rachel Wright, rachel_wright@hms.harvard.edu

Go to Event Web Page