Communicating Science courses are open to masters and PhD students in STEM disciplines. They are 1-credit modules, which may be taken consecutively or separately.
Tuition is covered for PhD students (fall or spring semesters) if they are currently supported full time by their program (TA/GA/RA or Fellow) and have a full Graduate Tuition Scholarship. Enrollment in the course requires pre-approval from your Graduate Program Director. Masters students can also enroll and pay tuition as normal.
Register now through SOLAR. If you have questions, please email: AldaCenter@stonybrook.edu
To download the Fall 2015 course bulletin, click here.
1-CREDIT CORE COURSES:
The two core components of the Alda Center curriculum are Improvisation for Scientists and Distilling Your Message. We strongly recommend taking the core courses first.
JRN 503 Communicating Science: Improvisation for Scientists
This innovative course uses improvisational theater techniques to help students communicate more directly and responsively. It’s not about acting; it’s about connecting with an audience. A video about the process can be seen here.
JRN 503.01 – Tuesdays, Aug 25, Sept 1, 15, 22 and 29; 5:30 – 8:20pm. Location TBD.
JRN 503.02- Thursdays, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; 5:30-8:20pm. Location TBD.
JRN 501 Communicating Science: Distilling your Message
Students learn to speak clearly and vividly about their work and why it matters, in terms non-scientists can understand. Practice finding common ground with listeners and speaking at different levels of complexity for different audiences. Includes a video interview with a journalist.
JRN 501.01 – Thursdays, Aug 27, Sept 3, 10, 17 and 24; 5:30 – 8:20pm, Melville Library, Room N-4072.
JRN 501.02 – Tuesdays, Oct 6, 13, 20, 27 and Nov 3; 5:30 – 8:20pm, Melville Library, Room N-4072.
1-CREDIT ADDITIONAL COURSES:
JRN 502 Communicating Science: Writing to be Understood
Students develop their ability to write about science or health for a public audience without “dumbing down” their material. The course focuses on such forms as letters to the editor, blogs and op-edits.
JRN 502.01 – Mondays Oct. 19, 26, Nov 2, 9 and 16; 5:30-8:20pm. Location TBD.
JRN 502.02 – Wednesdays Oct 28, Nov 4, 11, 18 and Dec 2; 5:30–8:20pm. Location TBD.
JRN 504 Communicating Science: Using Digital Media
How to use blogs, podcasts, video, Twitter and other forms of social media for two-way communication with different segments of the public. Includes hands-on instruction, tailored to students’ experience and development of a weekly blog.
JRN 504 – Wednesdays, Aug. 26, Sept. 2, 9, 16 and 23; 5:30–8:20pm, Melville Library, E-0335. John Timmer.
JRN 508 Communicating Science: Engaging Key Audiences
This course is for students who have taken either JRN 501 Distilling Your Message, or JRN 503 Improvisation for Scientists, and want to build on the skills introduced in those courses. Through role-playing and other exercises, students will practice communicating with key audiences, such as potential employers, students, journalists, and public officials.
JRN 508 – Thursdays, Nov 5, 12, 19 and Dec 3; 5:30-9pm. Location TBD.
JRN 509 Communicating Science: Presenting Science Unplugged
This course is for students that have taken JRN 501 Distilling Your Message and JRN 503 Improvisation for Scientists, and want the full experience of working in front of a live audience.
With group meetings and private coaching sessions, students will hone science presentations into 10-minute talks for a lay audience on campus, and 25-minute talks for a high school or library audience. Students must begin the class with a prepared talk ready for coaching and a clear and vivid short description for marketing purposes. Each student will participate as a peer coach for one other student and will be required to attend at least one other talk off campus. To see more samples from our pilot workshops, click here.
JRN 509.02 – Initial group meeting: Wednesday, Aug 26; 5:30-6:30 pm in Melville Library, N-4029. Valeri Lantz-Gefroh.
JRN 512 Creating a Video Abstract
Using only their own iPhone (or a provided iPod Touch) students will learn how to shoot, write and edit a 3-minute video about their science. Beyond the technical, the course will also teach the skills of video story-telling.
JRN 512 – Tuesdays, Oct 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov 3, 10, 17; 11am-1pm. Location TBD. Graham Chedd.
JRN 365 Talking Science
This course is for science undergraduates and designed to teach them how to speak effectively and responsively with multiple audiences, from peers and professors to potential employers, policymakers and the lay public. Students will focus on communicating about science clearly and vividly, as well as develop skills that are central to oral communication on any subject. The techniques used include improvisational theater exercises that help speakers connect with an audience, paying close and dynamic attention to others, reading nonverbal cues, and responding freely without self-consciousness.
Students will practice delivering their message effectively for different audiences, including defining goals, identifying main points, speaking without jargon, explaining meaning and context, responding to questions, using storytelling techniques, and using multimedia elements. Students will be videotaped at least once during the semester as part of the learning process.
As a culminating activity, students develop and deliver an engaging short oral presentation on a scientific topic. This course requires active participation not only as speakers, but also as active listeners and constructive critics in a rigorous but supportive environment.
JRN 365 – Mondays, all semester, 4-6:50 pm, 3 credits. Roth Café Lounge, Room 122. V. Lantz-Gefroh & C. O’Connell.
1-CREDIT COURSES OFFERED IN SPRING SEMESTER:
JRN 505 Communicating Science: Connecting with the Community
How to reach and mobilize the community and key stakeholders on health and science-related issues associated with students’ research, outreach or community education objectives.
JRN 505 section 1 – Wednesday, April 13, 20, 27 and May 4; 4-7 pm, 1 credit. Health Sciences Center, Room L3-066. Evonne Kaplan-Liss.
JRN 612 School of Medicine Elective: Communicating Health Science
For medical, nursing and dental students, an introduction to effective communication.
JRN 612 – Monday, March 21, 28, April 11, 25, and May 2, 11; 4-7 pm, 1 credit. Health Sciences Center, Room CR152. E. Kaplan-Liss and V. Lantz-Gefroh.
JRN 500 Introduction to News Media Concepts and Institutions
How the U.S. news media work, with a focus on how they cover health, science, the environment and technology.
JRN 500 – Wednesday, all semester, 5:30-8:20 pm, 3 credits. Melville Library, N-4043. Rick Firstman.
3-CREDIT CORE COURSE OFFERED IN SPRING SEMESTER:
JRN 565 Communicating Your Science
This course is for graduate students in science, biomedical, engineering, and health disciplines who want to communicate effectively and responsively with multiple audiences, from peers and professors to potential employers, policymakers and the lay public. Students will focus on speaking about science clearly and vividly in ways that can engage varied audiences, especially those outside their own field. The class will include instruction and practice in connecting and finding common ground with an audience, defining goals, identifying main points, speaking without jargon, explaining meaning and context, using storytelling techniques, and using multimedia elements. The class will include improvisational theater exercises that help speakers pay close and dynamic attention to others, reading nonverbal cues, and responding freely without self-consciousness. As a culminating activity, students will develop and deliver an engaging short oral presentation on a scientific topic.
JRN 565 – Wednesdays, all semester, 4-6:50 pm, 3 credits. Roth Café Lounge, Room 122. C. O’Connell & L. Johnson.