Science Communication

This track gives students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of writing in a variety of scientific contexts and genres. Students will study and practice communication that targets both specialist and nonspecialist audiences.
The first minor course (Writing 159A) targets specialist scientific audiences. Students will study and draft documents such as journal articles, technical reports, patents, funding proposals, lab reports, white papers, documentation, policy recommendations, and poster/slide presentations. Audiences and scientific methodologies will be reviewed to ensure the integrity of scientific communication.
The second minor course (Writing 159B) targets nonspecialist audiences, Documents may include multimedia assignments such as websites, podcasts, and videos. Print writing assignments may include long-form journalism articles and shorter assignments such as articles summarizing scientific studies in lay terms, teaching demonstrations, and brochures written to lay audiences.
Students will leave 159A&B with an e-portfolio that demonstrates their writing expertise in science communication.
Who Should Apply?
This track of the minor will be of particular benefit to two groups of students:
  1. STEM majors looking to improve communication skills before attending medical/graduate school or entering research positions.
  2. STEM and non-STEM majors seeking to incorporate scientific literacy into their various professions.
Where can students find internships for the Science Communication minor track?
Magazines and newspapers, such as The Independent and UCSB Current; businesses, such as Citrix Online and Deckers Outdoor; environmental organizations, like the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS); the Community Environmental Council, Tetra Tech; Green2Gold; Kids in Nature; the Center for Urban Agriculture; local museums; SciComm non-profits, including SciFund and Compass; Professional societies such as IEEE and STC.
Which courses are recommended for the Science Communication track?
Depending on students’ own interest and passion, a wide variety of courses are appropriate prerequisites,
• 107EP Writing for Environmental Professions
• 109HP Writing for Health Professionals
• 109ST Writing for Science and Technology
• 105SW Science Writing for the Public
• 105M Multimedia Writing
• 105PS Writing for Public Speaking
• 105R Rhetoric and Writing
• 105S Writing about Sustainability
Any 107-series course, but especially:
• 107J Journalistic and News Writing
• 107T Technical Writing
• 107P Writing for Public Relations
• 107WC Writing Web Content
For more information about the Science Communication minor track, please contact Amanda Stansell,