December 2011

Science Writing for Scientists

Science Writing for Scientists

Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 09-Jan-2012
Limited to 30 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)
Prereq: Paragraph describing why the student wishes to participate

This class will lead its participants through the journey from facts into story as they learn how to communicate science in ways a broad public audience will engage and remember.
This class introduces participants to the key steps involved in presenting complicated ideas in an accurate and memorable fashion. In the first session we will cover what elements make excellent science writing for the public: structure, metaphor as a tool, translation of complexity, accuracy while simplifying, and the art of triage – telling your audience what it needs to know to grasp your material, but not everything that you know.
Students will discuss a series of research findings and background materials, and transform them into a short popular piece. Those pieces will be workshopped until the participants grasp the idea of story, as opposed to report, down to the bone.
The class will be led by the New York Times bestselling science writer Seth Mnookin, and by Peabody and National Academies award-winning writer and film maker Thomas Levenson, head of 21W.

Paragraphs may be sent to sciwrite-www@mit.edu.