As someone extremely interested in science communication, I find a huge gap at the university level when it comes to the teaching of this subject.
On the one hand, there are plenty of university programs that teach science writing–generally within journalism or journalism oriented programs. MIT has such a program. Carl Zimmer teaches such a class at Yale. And so on and so on. These things are not rare.
At the same time, there are also some distinguished university programs that study and teach science communication as a sub-discipline within the broader field of communications. Cornell and the University of Wisconsin Madison are particularly well known for their strengths in these areas. Matt Nisbet teaches in this area at American University. And so on.
The writing programs described above exist to create journalists; the traditional communications programs exist to create science communication scholars–academics. But who’s creating good science communicators who are also Ph.D. researchers?
Not many people, that’s who. That’s why I’m very interested in finding out what kinds of courses exist across the country to do this. I recently came across the following example at the University of Washington-Seattle: “Communicating Science to the Public Effectively.” They’re teaching the course right now and it seems like exactly what I had in mind–exactly what’s needed.
So that’s a start–but I’m wondering, what else is out there right now? I’ve heard about a few other things, but am not finding them on the web, so I won’t link–yet.
It would be good to see what others are teaching, and try to come up with some type of basic curriculum.
Links to this Post
- The Forum on Science, Ethics, and Policy » Scientists Engaging | October 12, 2010
- Enage Seminar Mentioned on “The Intersection” « Engage | October 12, 2010