The Engage graduate-level seminar course at the University of Washington teaches emerging scientists to effectively communicate through development of a seminar on their own research for a general audience. The course themes include storytelling, audience consideration, and public speaking while incorporating lessons and tools from a variety of sources: improvisational games, group discussion and feedback, and, most importantly, practice. After completion of the course, students give their presentations at a public venue (currently hosted by Town Hall Seattle as the “UW Science Now” series.)

The 3-credit course housed in the College of the Environment meets once per week for approximately 3 hours. The next course will be offered in winter quarter 2019. Please subscribe to our blog for future announcements.

Seminar Resources

Photo copyright Mary Levin.The Engage Science Curriculum

Several of the Engage directors have published the curriculum used in the seminar course, and have made a PDF of this curriculum available to anyone. Visit our curriculum page for more information.

The College of the Environment at UW also hosts a thorough Resources page filled with science communication strategies, tips, and further resources.

Highly Recommended Books

Dean, Cornelia.  Am I Making Myself Clear? A Scientists Guide to Talk to the Public. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Hayes, Richard and Daniel Grossman.  A Scientist’s Guide to Talking with the Media: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Rutgers University Press, 2006.

Mooney, Chris and Sheril Kirshenbaum.  Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. New York: Basic Books, 2009.

Olsen, Randy.  Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style.  Island Press 2009.

Photo copyright Mary Levin.Recommended Books

Baron, Nancy.  Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter. Washington DC: Island Press, 2010.

Bell, Philip, et al. Ed. Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places and Pursuits. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2009.

Best, Joel. Social Problems. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.

Chittenden, Dave, Graham Farmelo, and Bruce V. Lewenstein. Ed. Creating Connections: Museums and the Public Understanding of Current Research. Walnut Creek, CA:AltaMira Press, 2004.

Diamond, Judy. Practical Evaluation Guide: Tools for Museums & Other Settings. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 1999.

Heath, Chip and Dan Heath. Made to Stick: Why Some Ides Survive and Other Die. New York: Random House, 2007.

Falk, John and Lynn Dierking. Learning from Museums. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2000.

Farmer, J. Doyne. “The Everyday Practice of Physics in Silver City, New Mexico.” Curious Minds:  How a Child Becomes a Scientist. Ed. John Brockman. New York: Pantheon Books, 2004.

Fenichel, Marilyn and Heidi A Schweingruber. Surrounded by Science. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2009.

Photo copyright Mary Levin.Blogs and Internet Resources

Not Talking Like a Scientist – Alli Coffin – who is a guest speaker for our class!

Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education 

Science Cafés 

Science Buzz 

Photo copyright Mary Levin.Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science

Education Resources Information Center 

Citizen Science Central 

Association of Science Technology Centers 

Informal Science 

Institute of Inquiry

Data Visualization

Overcoming Bias 

Explain it in 60 seconds 

Communicating Science with AAAS 

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  1. […] teach a seminar course for graduate students during the fall or winter quarter, then present a speaker series for the […]