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The Program

Enhance your career opportunities with sector-specific expertise in:

  • Writing and Speaking – learn to write and present with clarity to public and professional audiences
  • Digital Media – build expertise in multiplatform delivery of your research by exploring professional science blogs, social media, video and podcasting.
  • Telling your Science Story – learn the art of narrative by shaping your science into an engaging story.
  • Navigating Controversy and Crisis – identify and analyze the challenges of evidence-based science amid key stakeholders that shape science policies and politics.
  • Content Strategies – learn how to make the big pitch with your science through a methodical planning of content, target, media, design, and message.
  • Portfolio Development – build a digital portfolio to showcase your science communication skills

What You’ll Learn

  1. Research, assess, critique, and evaluate a given science topic’s sources, arguments, and validity
  2. Develop an understanding of academic and popular audiences, the rules of clear writing, speaking, and scholarship
  3. Design effective visuals for written and oral presentation
  4. Digital literacy in science communication
  5. Create informative, engaging blog entries that drive dialogue on pertinent issues
  6. Understand, critique, and evaluate the art of science storytelling; use this approach to establish engaging accounts of research projects and outcomes
  7. Stage and create short audio and video podcasts to integrate into your dynamic science portfolio
  8. Know the main role of science communication; understand stakeholders needs and interests
  9. Understand the challenges of crisis communication and be able to translate complex, controversial information to different audiences


Science Writing (residency May 8–12)
This course focuses on writing and speaking, and on their cardinal rules of clarity, simplicity, and accuracy in communicating science. Students will write short pieces for both professional and public audiences as well as deliver short presentations designed to hone their skills in written and verbal communication in the science industry.

Science Storytelling (residency May 8–12)
The ability to render abstract science research and topics into understandable and engaging stories for public consumption is the objective of this course. Students will study and apply various narrative techniques to shape their personal research interests into stimulating stories.

Web-based Portfolio (residency May 8–19 and continuing online)
This course aims to profile the students’ work in a visually appealing, robust website. Students will build their website and install their capstone work, showcasing their cumulative talent in science communication.

Science Journalism (residency May 15–19)
This course takes stock of the rapidly changing world of science journalism, from traditional print “legacy” organs both public and scholarly to current developments online. Students will examine appropriate channels for their research and also analyze and critique methods and ethics of communicating science information.

Presenting Science for Digital Media (residency May 15–19)
This course aims to equip students with the best practices of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and with the techniques in creating audio podcasts and video casts. Students will create blogs and tweets as well as develop their capstone project that will incorporate audio and video elements.

Communicating Science with Confidence from Controversy to Crisis (online May 22 – June 2)
This course explores the many controversial subjects of science, and focuses on how industry and government have dealt with these. After analyzing case studies, students will choose a controversial area of science and design strategies to effectively communicate and navigate through a (potential) crisis.

Content Strategies for Science Communication (online June 5–16)
The main objective in this course is to give students a general understanding of the strategic role of planning, pitching, proposing, and presenting in the science industry. Students will examine strategic communication in their field and create a presentation that demonstrates their knowledge of stakeholders and key messaging using appropriate media platforms.