New short course in Spring, GRAD 5984, Communicating Science

Spring short course in Communicating Science

For graduate students in science and technology fields

GRAD 5984: Special Study: Communicating Science

CRN: 18756, 1 cr

Tuesday evenings, 6 pm – 9 pm, 3/13/12 – 4/24/12 

This participatory course will be taught by Professor Patricia Raun (, and was inspired by her work with the Center for Communicating Science Institute at Stony Brook University ( and the belief that "scientists have a responsibility to share the meaning and implications of their work, and that an engaged public encourages sound public decision-making. In addition, the ability to communicate directly and vividly can enhance scientists’ career prospects, helping them secure funding, collaborate across disciplines, compete for positions, and serve as effective teachers."

The course is intended to promote understanding of science by training the next generation of scientists, engineers, and health professionals to communicate effectively about their work in a variety of contexts. Participation in the course will lessen the discomfort of spontaneous interaction. Areas of emphasis will include imagination, relaxation, observation, and concentration through improvisation. Some attention will be focused on the tools required for distilling one’s message in writing. A greater awareness of the everyday tools of human interaction (voice and body) will be gained through handouts, discussions, exercises, and improvisation. The students will develop their communicative abilities through careful observation, active class contribution, and committed participation. One of the benefits of this study is a deeper understanding of what it means to be fully expressive.