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Science Reporting Seminar

This seminar focuses on techniques for understanding the science behind science writing. We begin with some rules for covering science, health and the environment, then apply what we've discussed in meetings and field trips with science reporters and diverse scientists.  We visit laboratories at local universities, talk to climate researchers and read journalism and specialized publications about science.

Course requirements include writing a book review of a science/technology/environment/medicine work, analyzing media coverage of a particular scientific issue and completing a practicum—fieldwork in a lab, clinic or other scientific setting. Students have traveled to marine biology labs from Maine to Hawaii, observed stars and planets at an observatory in Texas, and shadowed surgeons and veterinarians in the Chicago area.

Because science is vast, and students have different interests, assignments may be satisfied with work in areas of your choice, including medicine, the environment, technology, physics and nano-science. From time-to-time, we have been able to contribute to online publications popsci.com, popularmechanics.com and outsideonline.com.