Science for All: Introduction to Science Writing


Laura Jacobs
Director, Marketing and Alignment Strategies, American Medical Association and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Adjunct Professor

Science for All: Introduction to Science Writing

17 August-21 September (Thursdays) | Asynchronous

Science for All: Introduction to Science Writing is a six week course offered by the Society for Technical Communication (STC). This class is offered as an online, asynchronous class, and has the following learning objectives:

  • Examine the importance of science writing and communication.
  • Identify and validate resources in relevant fields of scientific study.
  • Explore the techniques of communication and literary devices used within the world of science writing.
  • Read the best examples of writing in the sciences, some of them created by scientists, others by highly talented science writers.

Each week we will use the online platform to talk about what we have read, what we have written, and what we have observed about science writing.
Most importantly, we will use this time to develop specific skills that will translate into multiple professional situations. By the time that this class is over, students will be able to critique the validity of resources, and have the skills and confidence needed to write and edit scientific content for a variety of mediums.

The focus of this class will be writing material that popularizes or presents scientific information to general audiences. This is important for those who are exploring science writing as a career or for those of you who are exploring content marketing, public relations or writing for general audiences. The writing strengths that are demanded in this area – maintaining reader interest and providing understanding of very complex subject matter – will carry over to all of our writing efforts and in professional setting beyond this class.

Session Descriptions

This introductory week will discuss the importance of scientific writing and why technical communicators need to learn it.

This week, we will discuss:

  • PubMed and important resources
  • IMRAD structure in peer-reviewed journals
  • introduction, method, results and discussion
  • What makes a good study
  • Evaluating claims
  • Literary devices are techniques which writers use to create content that is clear, interesting, relatable, and memorable.
  • We will explore literary devices to enhance your science writing such as metaphor, analogy, onomatopoeia, personification (to name a few).
  • Six Rules for Great Storytelling
  • The Science of Storytelling
  • Why your brain loves good storytelling
  • Structure your presentation like a story
  • Social media
  • Marketing
  • Public relations
  • Public information officers
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Food science


Laura Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Alignment Strategies at the American Medical Association (AMA) is also an adjunct professor of communications at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is a ​marketing and communications strategist with more than 15 years of health care experience with in-house, agency and nonprofit tenure, specializing in health policy, science and medical education.  She has public relations and corporate communications experience in the non-profit, agency and corporate settings. Laura had a variety of corporate and health care clients while at Ketchum and Weber Shandwick, providing public relations and marketing communications strategic counsel for health care associations, health care systems and providers, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies.  While at Baxter, Laura was Manager, Corporate Communications, and supported Baxter’s global, diversified, fully integrated BioScience business with global communications responsibilities, providing guidance to 20-30 communicators on regulatory issues and program planning for a $6 billion business with more than 10,000 employees.

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