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Cornell University

Courses and Resources for Science Communication

(not intended to be an all inclusive list)

  • COMM 5660 Science Communication Workshop: B. Lewenstein*

"It really renewed my passion for science and my hope to share that with others. It becomes hard to maintain the enthusiasm when you live in a lab or in front of a computer for years on end. It also helped me clarify what my career goals are for the long run. The workshop was such a valuable and challenging experience.”

  • ALS 6014 Theater Techniques for Enhancing Teaching and Public Speaking (1 credit)
  • COMM 5665 Science Communication Practicum*
  • BIOMS 5660 Social Issues in Community Engagement by Cancer Scientists*
  • BIOMS 5665 Community-based Cancer Research Presentations and Discussions*
  • COMM 6660 Public Engagement in Science
  • COMM 6760 Public Health Communication
  • COMM 3020 Science Writing for the Media (3 credits) N. Porticella
  • COMM 3030 Organizational Writing (3 credits)
  • COMM 3032 Science Writing Practicum (1 credit)
  • COMM 3040: Writing and Editing for the Media (3 credits)
  • COMM 3070: Communicating for Impact: Developing Strategic Messages (3 credits) L.Chambliss
  • COMM 4940: Developing Communication Tools in Sustainability (1 credit)
  • COMM 4960: Communication Internship (1 credit)
  • EDUC 2210: Learning & Facilitating with Purpose (3cr.) Methods and Contexts of Learning
  • NBA 6320: Core Leadership Skills for a VUCA World course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of the key leadership skills required for success in today's volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) business world.(1 cr. General George Casey, U.S. Army-Retired, and Distinguished Senior Lecturer of Leadership) Download course flyer here.

    Graduate Certificate of Engagement in Public Communication of Science and Technology. Students who complete all 4 courses (which can be done over several semesters) will receive the certificate. This new series of courses is offered in Spring 2016 focused on community engagement and public communication by cancer scientists. The series consists of three weekend workshops and a weekly seminar series 

    COMM  5660-Spring, Fall
    BIOMS 5660-Spring
    COMM  5665-Spring
    BIOMS 5665-Spring, Fall

Students may take any of the four courses based on their interests and time. You can find more information here.


Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST), an international network

National Association of Science Writers (NASW) members include freelancers and employees of most of the major newspaper, wire service, magazine and broadcast outlets in the country

American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) provides information about the field of medical communication, support to break into the profession, and opportunities to hone your skills.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund published a guide for Communicating Science: Giving Talks and they post plenty of tools and career development advice on their website

Science Careers often reports on science communication careers

Keep abreast of breaking science news topics through EurekAlert!Science News


Communicating Sciences Effectively, A research Agenda (2016). The National Academies Press.

Introduction to English Communication for Scientists (Nature Education online)

Creating Effective Slides: Design, construction and use in science (video)

Science Communication Toolkit for Principal Investigators (NSF) to communicate science & engineering

Molecular Biology of the Cell article on Science communication: a career where PhDs can make a difference

Bruce Lewenstein's compilation of resources from Comm 5660 is listed here

Six Minutes speaking and presentation guide to be a confident and effective speaker- with specific exercises

Tips on giving speeches


Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (2013)
Annette Simmons, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins (2007)
Ty Bennett, The Power of Storytelling (2013)
Cornelia Dean,  Am I Making Myself Clear? A Scientists Guide to Talk to the Public (2009)
Richard Hayes and Daniel Grossman,  A Scientist’s Guide to Talking with the Media: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists (2006)
Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future (2009)
Randy Olsen, Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style (2009)