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 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.
JRN 501.01 – Thursdays, Aug 29, Sept 5, 12, 19, 26; 2:30-5:20pm
JRN 501.02 – Tuesdays, Nov 5, 12, 19, 26, Dec 3; 5:30-8:20pm
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.
JRN 503.01 – Tuesdays, Aug 27, Sept 3, 10, 17, 24; 2:30-5:20pm
JRN 503.02 – Thursdays, Oct 31, Nov 7, 14, 21, Dec 5; 5:30-8:20pm
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-week, 1-credit course.
JRN 502.02 – Tuesdays, Oct 1, 8, 22, 29; 5:30-9:00pm
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 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; 2:30-5:20pm
3-Credit Graduate Courses
JRN 565 COMMUNICATING YOUR SCIENCE
This course is for graduate students in science, biomedical, engineering, and health disciplines who want to communicate effectively and responsively with multiple audiences, from peers and professors to potential employers, policymakers and the lay public. Students will focus on speaking about science clearly and vividly in ways that can engage varied audiences, especially those outside their own field. The class will include instruction and practice in connecting and finding common ground with an audience, defining goals, identifying main points, speaking without jargon, explaining meaning and context, using storytelling techniques, and using multimedia elements. The class will include improvisational theater exercises that help speakers pay close and dynamic attention to others, reading nonverbal cues, and responding freely without self-consciousness. As a culminating activity, students will develop and deliver an engaging short oral presentation on a scientific topic.
JRN 565 – Wednesdays, all semester, 2:30-5:20pm, 3 credits
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.
JRN 365.01 – Tuesdays, all semester, 2:30-5:20pm, 3 credits
JRN 365.02 – Thursdays, all semester, 4:00-6:50pm, 3 credits