In this course we’ll be exploring and creating writing about science. Like science, writing begins with a question, and answering that question is a step-by-step process involving experimentation and continuous reflection (How well did this work? Where can I improve? What should I do next?). Writing involves a number of important “variables” — evidence, appeals, organization, and tone (just to name a few) — each of which must be manipulated to address your specific audience, purpose, and context for writing. Writing and science are both collaborative processes that involve building on and recognizing the ideas of others, as well as providing and responding to feedback from peers. Finally, like good science, good writing generates just as many questions as it does answers!
Throughout the academic term, we will focus on writing about science for public audiences, as opposed to writing as a scientist for scientific audiences. We will begin by examining the strategies used by popular science writers to communicate with audiences, and then you will have the opportunity to create popular science writing in several genres and formats. Science is defined broadly for this course and includes natural sciences (e.g., biology, physics, chemistry) and social sciences (e.g., psychology, anthropology, sociology). My goal is that this course will help you develop your process of writing and enable you to confidently approach writing in college courses and in other aspects of your life (and, perhaps to spark or further develop your appreciation for science along the way!).