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Fall 2017 Communicating Science Courses Enrolling Now

Communicating Science graduate courses are open to masters and PhD students in STEM disciplines. 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

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 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. Please select one section.

JRN 501.01 – Thursdays, Aug 31, Sept 7, 14, 21, 28; 2:30-5:20pm, Melville Library, Room N4072
JRN 501.02 – Tuesdays, Nov 7, 14, 21, 28, Dec 5; 5:30 – 8:20pm, Melville Library, Room N4072

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. Please select one section.

JRN 503.01 – Tuesdays, Aug 29, Sept 12, 19, 26, Oct 3; 5:30-8:20pm. Frey Hall, Room 316
JRN 503.02 – Thursdays, Nov 2, 9, 16, 30, Dec 7; 2:30-5:20pm. Location TBD

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 & op-edits. This is a 4-wk, 1-credit course. Please select one section.

JRN 502.01 – Thursdays, Oct 5, 12, 19, 26; 5:30–9pm. Melville Library, Room N4072
JRN 502.02 –Tuesdays, Oct 10, 17, 24, 31; 5:30–9pm. Frey Hall, Room 316. R. Rai

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. This is a 5-week, 1-credit course.

JRN 504 – Mondays, Oct 30, Nov 6, 13, 20, 27; 5:30–8:20pm. Melville Library, Room W4545

JRN 508 COMMUNICATING SCIENCE: ENGAGING KEY AUDIENCES 

This is a 4-week, 1-credit course 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 – Tuesdays, Nov 7, 14, 21, 28; 5:30-9pm. Frey Hall, Room 316

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. Learn more and watch samples. Email valeri.lantz-gefroh@stonybrook.edu for permission to enroll.

JRN 509.02 – The class will meet as a group on Wednesdays, Aug 30, Sept 6, 13, 20 from 5-7pm and will then meet independently with the instructor. Melville Library, N4029

JRN 511 COMMUNICATING SCIENCE: COMMUNICATING TO DECISION MAKERS

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. Learning how to effectively communicate science to decision makers is increasingly important for scientists and health professionals. This interactive course provides you with the skills, practice, and knowledge you need to clearly and vividly communicate complex science to decision makers (e.g., Congress, local officials, community groups, etc.) in a variety of forums and settings.

JRN 511 – Thursdays, Oct 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov 2; 2:30-5:20pm, Light Engineering, Room 154

JRN 512 VIDEO STORYTELLING FOR SCIENTISTS

In these days when video rules the web, there are few better ways to showcase yourself and your research than by making your own short video. And you can make a great one with something you already have in your purse or pocket – your smartphone. But only if you know how to shoot well, edit skillfully and, most importantly, know how to tell a compelling story in the language of video. Learn the skills you need to produce a vivid video impression of your science for your web or Facebook page, or for your next publication. The technology is there. You just need to know how to use it! Students must have previously taken either JRN 501, Distilling Your Message, or JRN 503, Improvisation For Scientists.

JRN 512 – Wednesdays, Sep 13, 20, 27, Oct 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov 1, 8, 15; 2:30-3:50pm. Melville Library, N4006

For Undergraduates 

JRN 365 TALKING SCIENCE

This is a 3-credit course designed to help science majors learn 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. Prerequisite: upper-division major in science, engineering, mathematics or health. Please select one section.

JRN 365.01 – Tuesdays, all semester, 2:30-5:20pm, 3 credits. Frey Hall, Room 316 
JRN 365.02 – Thursdays, all semester, 3:30-6:20pm, 3 credits. Frey Hall, Room 316