There are three primary ways to learn about science communication - you can read/watch/listen to great examples, you can discuss what makes them work, and you can actually try to create great examples yourself. All of my courses at Stanford are based on the idea that the first two methods don't mean much without the third - and that science journalism and communication are verbs, and inherently public acts. There's no substitute for a real project with a real audience to bring the stakes, challenges and opportunities of science communication into sharp focus. Here are some examples, including two ongoing projects I run with my students; a now-completed project; and a handful of class assignments and independent writing projects.
Journalism MA students Julia James and Jamie Hansen spent several months embedded with Stanford's Natural Capital Project, documenting the group's research on ecosystem services.
Sociology PhD student Priya Fielding- Singh's essay on California Prop. 37. San Francisco Chronicle, Nov 21, 2012.
Civil and environmental engineering MS student Katy Ashe's first-person report on conditions in an illegal Amazonian gold mine. Mongabay.com and the Stanford Report, March 15, 2012.
Journalism MA grad Lindsay Hoshaw's crowd-funded expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. New York Times, November 9, 2009.
Stanford students answer your questions about environmental issues and sustainable living in this monthly eco-advice column.
Seven science and journalism students in Comm 277C investigate the local impacts of and planning for climate change in Stanford's municipal neighborhood. Spring, 2014.
Education doctoral candidate Kathayoon Khalil looks at the changing role of zoos through the life and tragic death of one magnificent orangutan. Slate, May 2014.