Science Communication

ENSP 440: Science Communication

The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser

This interdisciplinary course trains students to translate scientific research into compelling science stories that engage a broad public audience. Using a journalistic writing style and applying best practices of effective science communication, students craft creative nonfiction narrative short stories, magazine feature stories, and radio podcast episodes. The classroom functions like a newsroom, with the professor as the “editor” and each student as a “journalist” reporting on research being conducted at William & Mary, VIMS, and beyond. The class is interactive and hands-on, integrating class discussion, pair/group work, public presentations, peer-critiques, and workshops on interviewing and podcast production and editing. Podcasts and written products will serve as polished additions to student professional portfolios.

This course will:

  • Sharpen your written, oral, and multimedia communication, critical thinking, collaborative, and analytical skills;

  • Prepare you to apply science communication skills to other courses and/or future careers;

  • Help you to develop techniques to stay within deadlines and coordinate multiple aspects of a science communication project; and

  • Culminate in three pieces for your professional portfolio: a short science narrative, magazine feature, and podcast episode.

Check out student podcasts from this course at iHark Radio.