3030 - Writing on Science & Society Course Descriptions
The following list is alphabetical, by instructor last name. Not every course shown below is offered every semester. Check the current Course Schedule.
- WRITING ON SCIENCE & SOCIETY, Amy Bertken
- Topic title and description coming soon.
- EXPLORING ISSUES IN TECHNOLOGY, SUSTAINABILITY & ETHICS, Douglas Dupler
- Writing 3030 is an upper-division writing course that expands and refines students’ writing and communication skills. The course emphasizes critical thinking and rhetorical awareness; prepares students to write analytical, evaluative, and/or persuasive papers that incorporate research and conventions in a field of interest; extends students’ knowledge and experience of the writing process; and builds effective communication skills including oral presentation. The primary course content is writing and critical thinking, using the broad theme of “science and society” as a context for our semester-long inquiry and practice. This course aims to prepare students for the writing situations and challenges that they will encounter as professionals and educated citizens. Content will be delivered by lectures, seminar discussions, peer-review workshops and group activities, online sources, videos, guest speakers, and community-learning opportunities.
- CROSS-CULTURAL WRITING FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, Dr. Andrea Feldman
- Cross-Cultural Writing for International Students is a section of WRTG 3020, 3030, and 3040 that is intended for non-native speakers of English who wish to enroll in an upper-division writing course. The course is taught as a rigorous writing workshop using advanced readings and materials, emphasizing critical thinking, analysis, and argumentative writing. Course readings focus on cross-cultural communication in the arts, business, and scientific fields. Assignments will be tailored to meet the needs and interests of individual students.
- THE RHETORIC OF SCIENTIFIC COMMUNICATION, Dr. Andrea Feldman
- As a future scientist, engineer, or researcher, you will be expected to write and speak clearly to people outside your field. The purpose of this course is to teach you techniques for writing analytical and argumentative essays, to develop critical thinking skills, and to examine ethical issues in science. To this end, the final project for this course is to create a document related to your field that can stand on its own in the real world.
The course includes interactive workshops and analysis of visual rhetorics, including podcasts, video clips, cartoons, and other visual media. The classroom allows students to form both large and small groups to workshop their papers using the laptop carts and screen projector to instantly critique and evaluate each others' papers.
- ISSUES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, Lynn Gingrass
- This course is designed to improve the reading and writing skills of students in the science and technology fields. The class will be conducted in both lecture and workshop formats, and we will place particular emphasis on clarity, organization, focused revision, proofreading, and the basics of grammar and mechanics. Coursework will entail written responses to essays concerning a variety of social and ethical issues, with special attention to the analysis of differing values, perspectives, and audiences. Many students majoring in engineering or the sciences think their writing inadequate; this course will demonstrate that the task of framing an issue and developing a position based on evidence and sound reasoning is not only well within their abilities, but that the effort can in fact be pleasurable. Coursework will include a minimum of three papers, and an oral presentation.
- SCIENCE–WRITING GENRES, Eliza Klinger
- In this class, we'll analyze and write in the most common science-writing genres (research reports, literature reviews, research funding proposals, popular articles, conference posters, and conference presentations) to understand their language, structure, purpose, and audience.
- MAKING SCIENCE ACCESSIBLE, Daniel Long
- This is a service-learning version of WRTG 3030. Students will practice communicating scientific knowledge by tutoring local high-school students. This course is a great opportunity for future scientists and engineers to gain real-world experience sharing what they know with others—and to help a few people along the way.
- GENRES OF SCIENCE WRITING, Dr. David Rothman
- Writing well about science requires specific rhetorical skills. Research proposals require good science, but they also require clear writing and organization if they are to succeed in attracting funds. Crafting experiment results into publications requires strong verbal organization in addition to good science. More broadly, all of us face political, ethical, philosophical, economic and broad cultural challenges that depend in part upon our understanding of how science works, and what kinds of arguments we can & or cannot – make with it. As many have pointed out, scientists and those who work in science-related fields (such as medicine, engineering, telecommunications, psychology, energy and many more) ignore this public dimension of their work at their peril. This course focuses on fundamental genres within scientific writing – narrative, description, abstraction, explanation and research – to give students the strongest possible tools to develop their own work and to convey it as compellingly as possible to others.
- HOW DOES SCIENCE PERSUADE? Petger Schaberg
- This section of Writing on Science and Society (WRTG 3030) will focus on developing the sophisticated rhetorical perspectives that will allow students to utilize a toolkit of strategies for the purpose of creating persuasive scientific writing for a range of important contemporary audiences. Selected readings from scientific journals, from the philosophy of science, from the politics of science, and from popular presentations of science in contemporary mass media will ground our investigation into the scientific method and supporting areas of observation, evidence, and experiment. Such an understanding is vital for practicing scientists, engineers, and corporate researchers, as well as for social scientists and those in humanities because of the complex ways that scientific thought makes its appeals to scientific audiences, to civic and policy-related audiences, to the business community, and to the broader target of popular culture. Upon fulfilling the course requirements, students will have developed an enhanced rhetorical awareness that will allow them to be skilful writers and interpreters both inside and outside the specific scientific disciplines that are so crucial to contemporary global society.
- SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & HUMAN VALUES, Dr. Seth B. Tucker
- The goal of WRTG 3030 is to help students articulate and analyze various approaches to the world of science, technology, ethics, and engineering. We will deconstruct the views that inform our relationships to our social and physical environments, all while focusing on various ethical frameworks. The course applies history, literature, culture, and engineering case studies as a tool to understand the complexity of how science, exploration, and human values have affected each other. To this end, the course addresses two central questions: 1. What are the social, philosophical, ethical, and environmental ramifications of science and engineering? 2. Considering these ramifications, what are our responsibilities as scientists, engineers, and world citizens? You would do well to keep these questions (as well as the Course Themes (see below)) in mind as you approach class discussion and written work. COURSE THEMES: The three primary objectives of WRTG 3030 are: 1. Increased knowledge regarding how nature and our society are related to human values and how these values impact nature, technology, and our society. 2. Increased knowledge about professional ethics. 3. Increased skill in written and oral communications. We will utilize a number of these repeating, interrelated themes to help deal with this complexity.
- BRINGING THE HUMANITIES INTO THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD, Dr. David Williams
- Scientific and literary cultures have existed side-by-side but most often in parallel universes with little connection. This has led to the humanities proceeding as if Darwin never lived, DNA was not discovered, and neuroscience never came to fruition. As E.O. Wilson states, this “polarization promotes . . . the perpetual recycling of the nature-nurture controversy, spinning off mostly sterile debates on gender, sexual preferences, ethnicity, and human nature itself.” From the social science’s denial of a “universal human nature” to theoretical theories spun from armchair speculation, the humanities have spun numerous webs that have little or no relation to empirical evidence. At the same time, many theorists in the humanities have tried to be “scientific,” from Jung, to Frye, to Chomsky (though failing), while others have denied the validity of science altogether.
This class will begin by examining the history of science and the humanities, while trying to find ways to bring them together. To do so, we will be exploring human evolution, evolutionary psychology, and neuroscience—utilizing these disciplines as a base from which to interpret literature.
In addition, we will examine how the pressing scientific issues of the day are often obscured because few scientists have developed effective communication skills. As a class, we will work to create rhetorical strategies that allow some of the recent findings of science to be heard by a public often ignorant of even the most basic scientific paradigms and findings.
Writing for this class will involve numerous genres for interpreting science and literature and for propelling scientific ideas through the art of writing.
- DEVELOPING A MARKETABLE SPECIALIZATION & SCIENTIFIC IDENTITY, Dr. Michael Zizzi
- In this course you will learn principles, techniques and strategies that work together to aid your engagement and contribution within scientific communities of personal relevance, by examining the intersections of scientific rhetoric, ethical concern, career application, digital media and use, collaboration in problem–solving groups, and civic/community engagement — all of this both in theory and practice. Strong emphasis will be placed on developing a "marketable identity" (including applying for a real opportunity) as a prospective job seeker and contributor in and out of employment contexts.