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Scientific Writing for a Lay Audience

In this information age, why is it that misinformation seems to win out over science?  As science becomes more complex, parts of the general public are giving up on understanding what scientists do and instead turn to less expert sources of information like the internet, social media, and friends.

Under these circumstances, it has never been more important for scientists and academics to come down from their ivory towers and learn to communicate new scientific findings in a clear and engaging way. Scientific Writing for a Lay Audience aims to introduce you to the basics of popular science writing so that you can bring important scientific knowledge to a wider audience.

During this course you will

  • learn about the features of different types of popular scientific text
  • become familiar with the stylistic, linguistic and structural writing conventions of popular science writing
  • receive feedback on the accessibility of the scientific knowledge you present from students who are not from your field
  • become more confident about your writing skills and more likely to enjoy the writing process

What does the course involve?
By planning and writing two articles aimed at a lay audience, you will learn about the key features of the popular science genre and develop your writing skills in English. Through a combination of in-class exercises, writing tasks and a planned interview with a scientific expert of your choosing, you will learn how to structure and present scientific information so that the significance of this work can be grasped by the wider public. You also will learn the basics of text structure, and you will have the opportunity to work on grammatical and vocabulary issues so that your writing comes across as professional and convincing.

Caro Struijke teaches a wide variety of academic communication skills in English, ranging from scientific writing courses to PhD candidates, poster pitching workshops to honours students, and popular science writing courses to master students. She also coaches individuals, such as professors preparing their inaugural speech. Caro holds a degree in English (University of Amsterdam), a master’s degree in applied linguistics (University College of North Wales) and a PhD in theoretical linguistics (University of Maryland). She greatly enjoys helping academics communicate their ideas effectively and improve their English language skills in the process.

The course consists of 4 sessions which will take place on Monday evenings 18.00 - 20.00 hrs.

Monday 11 March
Monday 8 April
Monday 22 April
Monday 13 May

The Honours Academy and Radboud in’to Languages believe that the best learning happens when we collaborate in the same workspace, so your physical presence is required! If you know that you cannot attend one or more sessions, pick a different course so you can get the most out of this experience with your fellow students.

Note: Students of the Honours Programme Medical Sciences cannot participate in this training. The training is almost identical to one they have already taken.