Science of Communication™: Writing Science in Plain English to be Understood

“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” – Albert Einstein

The fact, supported by much empirical research, is that most science producing-enterprises—government departments, universities, hospitals and affiliate research institutes, professional associations, private sector companies, NGO’s and independent think tanks—would build trust, gain approvals and encourage more informed decision making with regard to regulation, science policy and funding.

Informed by the latest research in communication theory, our Science of Communication ™ Writing Science in Plain English workshop is designed to help scientists, policy makers, researchers, and communication professionals improve their science writing so it is easily understood by non-science audiences. This one or two-day, custom designed writing workshop is organized entirely around the theme of how to write clearly to be understood by non-science audiences.

Our sessions are fully customizable, both by client and by topic. If there’s one thing clients have told us more than anything else, it’s how surprised they are by the amount of research we conduct before each session. We believe a session can only be effective if it’s highly tailored — and that “off-the-shelf” training doesn’t work particularly well. In advance of your session, we typically read dozens of sources about your organization and each participant’s subject area, review your information and messaging, and develop real-life scenarios that affect you and your organization.

During the workshop, students will analyze written work in their subject area expertise, and experiment with writing for different audiences, vocabulary choice, grammatical structures and stylistic features in order to better understand how to craft impactful scientific messages for non-scientists.

What you will learn:

  • What is effective communication and overcoming barriers to communication;
  • How to analysis your audience before you write;
  • How vocabulary choice, grammatical structures and stylistic features can be used to craft impactful scientific messages for non-scientists;
  • How to eliminate jargon, abstract nouns and write in an active voice;
  • How to organize your writing for different audiences;
  • How to communicate uncertainty;
  • How to effectively tell stories;
  • How to measure if your writing is impactful.

Who should attend this workshop?

Anyone who is either directly or indirectly involved in science generation, interpretation or dissemination. This means scientists, technical communicators, policy analysts, communication professionals and government regulators.

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