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Writing About Science for the Public

Writing About Science for the Public

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The New York Academy of Sciences

Registration Deadline: February 23, 2012

The ability to communicate science to a variety of audiences—including students, employers or funders, public officials, the press, and colleagues in other disciplines—is an important but underdeveloped skill area for scientists. This one-day, hands-on workshop will teach you to write clearly and effectively about what you do and why it matters in ways non-scientists can understand.

The day will be broken down into three segments: two intimate sessions of writing divided by an interactive group session called Distilling Your Message. The combination of these two workshops has been well received by scientists, teachers, post docs and professionals from around the world.

In the small-group writing sessions, participants will learn issues of voice, audience adaptation, clarity of organization, sentence-to-sentence coherence, parallel structure and revision strategies. Come away with heightened awareness and confidence in your ability to adapt to a variety of audiences. Each participant will receive individual instruction and time to make revisions.

In the Distilling Your Message session, participants will learn how to speak at different levels of complexity for different audiences and how to convey meaning and key points without "dumbing down." Use storytelling techniques, examples and analogies to engage listeners and illustrate unfamiliar concepts.

"The principles and concepts and approaches will find their way into almost everything I do, from teaching, to interacting with other faculty and administrators, to developing workshops for grad students, to working with my institution’s PR staff, to the way I think about the media, and the way I write."
Morris Grubbs
Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, University of Kentucky

Participants must email a 2–3 page sample of their writing within their discipline to by February 23, 2012. Please title the subject line of your email "Science Writing Workshop."

Participants are also required to bring a laptop to the workshop. Very few people writing by hand can be accommodated. If you have questions or concerns about this, please email with the subject line “Science Writing Workshop”.

Registration Pricing

Student / Postdoc / Fellow Member$65
Student / Postdoc / Fellow Nonmember$90


* Presentation times are subject to change.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

9:00 AM

Small Group Writing Sessions (4 groups)

11:30 AM


12:30 PM

Large Group Interactive Presentation: Distilling Your Message

1:45 PM


2:00 PM

Small Group Writing Sessions (4 groups)

4:00 PM


4:30 PM

Workshop Adjourns


Eugene Hammond

English Department Chair, Stony Brook University

Gene Hammond served as a nuclear engineer in the US Navy, and has degrees in English from Notre Dame, Oxford University, and Yale University. He has been Chair of the English Department at the University of Maryland and has directed the Writing Programs at Maryland and at SUNY Stony Brook. He has conducted writing workshops for judges in Colorado, Louisiana, and Florida, for law clerks in Louisiana, for MBA students in Maryland, and for scientists at Stony Brook and at UCLA. He is the author of a textbook, Thoughtful Writing, now in its third edition; of an ESL book, Travels through the English Sentence, and of a forthcoming biography, Jonathan Swift, Irish Blow-In.

Peter H. Khost

Associate Director Writing and Rhetoric, Stony Brook University

Peter H. Khost, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stony Brook University, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate writing courses for more than twelve years. Peter has published on pedagogical and professional issues in higher education, and his scholarly interests include writing program administration, writing in the disciplines, collaboration, reader-response theory, holistic learning, and the literature/composition divide.

Ann Horbey

Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Stony Brook University

Professor Horbey teaches writing, rhetoric, and grammar at Stony Brook University. She developed the university's first three-credit grammar course, Grammar and Style for Writers, which she teaches every semester. She has also collaborated with the College of Business to develop an honors program in business ethics. Each fall, she works with honors business students to help them research, write, and revise a senior thesis. In addition to teaching in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, she teaches a writing immersion lab for majors and minors in the School of Journalism.

Thomas Tousey

Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Stony Brook University

Thomas Tousey has taught writing at Stony Brook University for the past fifteen years. Before coming to Stony Brook, he taught writing at Hofstra University and worked as a production editor for Physical Review Letters.

Kristina Lucenko

Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Stony Brook University

Kristina Lucenko received her PhD in English from the University at Buffalo, and is currently a lecturer in the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Stony Brook University. She has taught a range of writing courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, including science writing, the personal essay, and professional writing in the health sciences. She has also led writing workshops at the elementary school, high school, and adult literacy levels, in addition to serving as an editor for the National Audubon Society Field Guide series. Her research interests include writing instruction, autobiography, service learning, and digital humanities. Her essays, poems, and translations have appeared in AGNI, Paterson Literary Review, and Post Road, among other journals.

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

The New York Academy of Sciences

7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor
New York, NY 10007-2157

Directions to the Academy

Hotels Near 7 World Trade Center

Recommended partner hotel

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140 Washington Street
New York, NY 10006
Phone: 212.577.1133

The New York Academy of Sciences is a member of the Club Quarters network, which offers significant savings on hotel reservations to member organizations. Located opposite Memorial Plaza on the south side of the World Trade Center, Club Quarters, World Trade Center is just a short walk to the Academy.

Use Club Quarters Reservation Password NYAS to reserve your discounted accommodations online.

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