The Course

Public Understanding of Science-Syllabus (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 137kB Aug2 12)

Course Readings (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 131kB Aug3 12)

Assignments (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 108kB Aug3 12)


Graduate students who take the course
come from various different academic
departments and have widely different
scientific backgrounds. At the first
meeting, students choose their topics
and begin to investigate the material
and prepare the presentation. A list of
suggested topics for presentations is
provided, but the students are encouraged
to suggest their own topics on the
basis of their passion and expertise,
as long as they are not directly part
of their graduate thesis research (see
Table 1). University faculty members,
experts in the latest scientific research
in the related fields, are asked to mentor
the students, both for accuracy of
the presentation as well as for guidance
in preparing and delivering the presentations.
This has proven to be crucial
to the preparation of the presentations
and the success of the program.
Organizationally, the course is divided
into three parts: Part 1 (weeks
1–4) is devoted to choosing topics
and mentors, building the presentations,
and holding class discussions
on related issues; Part 2 (weeks 5–10)
is devoted to delivering the presentations
to the class and analyzing their
effectiveness; and Part 3 (weeks
11–15) is devoted to delivering the
presentations to audiences in their
venues and analyzing the experience
to improve the presentations.