I have developed a science writing course, which is an elective of the University of California Berkley Extension Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing and of the Professional Writing Certificate Program. It is taught annually at the UC Berkeley Extension Golden Bear Center (1995 University Ave, Berkeley, classroom 201).
Students learn about the diversity of science writing opportunities, including writing for news organizations, magazines, institutions, and the Internet. They study the craft of making complex scientific concepts understandable and engaging to a general audience.
The course includes lectures, discussions, readings, in-class individual and group exercises, out-of-class weekly science blog assignments, and an ongoing final project to develop one in-depth feature article that could be published.
The course grade is assigned based on student performance with the following breakdown per requirement: 30% in-class exercises, 30% weekly science blogging, and 40% in-depth science article final project.
There are two recommended textbooks: (1) “A Field Guide for Science Writers: the Official Guide of the National Association of Science Writers,” Editors Deborah Blum, Mary Knudson and Robin Marantz Henig and (2)”The Science Writers’ Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish, and Prosper in the Digital Age,” Writers of SciLance.
Students should be proficient in English and have a solid grasp of English grammar as a prerequisite to taking this class. They should have access to a computer with word processing software (e.g., Microsoft Word) and Internet access. Students are not expected to be scientists, but they should be able to read and understand technical articles written on at least one scientific topic of interest.
In addition, I develop and teach technical writing workshops for employees at Genentech, Berkeley Lab, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. I am happy to develop a specialized course for other employers.