Communicating Science

Course Number: 

GRAD 5984 (CRN 19085)


Patricia Raun

Education Level: 

6:00 - 8:50 pm

(from 2/25 through 4/29)


There are still seats available in GRAD 5984 (CRN 19085).

The 2-credit participatory course will be taught by Professor Patricia Raun, and was inspired by her work with the Center for Communicating Science 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 more effectively about their work in a variety of contexts. Low teacher/student ratio in this course allows a great deal of personalized attention. Participation in the course will lessen the discomfort of spontaneous interaction. Areas of emphasis will include imagination, relaxation, observation, and concentration through improvisation.  A greater awareness of the everyday tools of human interaction (tone of voice, body language, written and spoken word) will be gained through handouts, discussions, exercises, and improvisation. Approximately one quarter of the course will be focused on the tools required for distilling one's message in writing. The writing portions of the course will be facilitated by biologist and science writer, Dr. Carrie Kroehler. The students will develop their communicative abilities through careful observation, active class contribution, and committed participation. One of the benefits of the study is a deeper understanding of what it means to be fully expressive.

Please let Patricia Raun know if you have questions or need more information.