Monday / Wednesday, 10:15 AM – 11:44 AM
Critical, audience aware writing is key to promoting civic dialogue about the pressing issues that affect us all from climate change and vaccine research to access and equity of science education. Budding scientists of today are not only our future researchers, but also the leaders we need to advocate for a better future one where scientists unite with those from all walks of life to tackle the epic challenges that face humans and the ecosystems we depend on. To do this scientists must learn to expand their worldview, for example, by embracing terms like STEAM ( Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) instead of STEM. By expanding our vocabulary, we expand our practices and our connections to each other, while simultaneously dismantling siloed communication.
We become more effective community members with enriched civic lives built on an understanding of interdependence. In this course we will use the book Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style by Randy Olson a Harvard educated marine biologist who left his tenured professorship to become an independent feature filmmaker to make documentaries about hot button topics like evolution and global warming. In the book he details his own journey of unlearning certain academic habits in order to become a better communicator. His book provides effective tools for connecting with diverse communities using civic dialogue. In the scientific world of facts and figures, it is essential to understand the power of words and the importance of training future generations to wield theirs well.
Note: This is an SNF Paideia designated writing seminar, designed to examine and encourage dialogue across differences. Students and faculty enrolled in the SNF Paideia writing seminars have an opportunity to meet once a month for dinner, dialogue, and a keynote speaker or facilitator, as well as engage in other cross seminar community building activities. SNF Paideia designated courses are noted on student transcripts.