Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time for some science stories

Storytelling, Concord LibraryOver the next week I would like you to write a new post for your blog that presents something scientific for a non-science audience.  Use this assignment to practice some of the techniques we talked about in class today, as well as advice from Randy Olson's book, pages 81-118.  This chapter covers storytelling.  You can choose any science related topic you like, and your post should be approximately 500 words in length.

At the bottom of your post include a paragraph reflecting on how you incorporated the ideas we have talked about or you have read about for presenting science.

There are two more things I would like you to do for next week:

  1. Add some science blogs to your Google Reader account, including the new course blogs.  You can find Google Reader under the "More" tab on any Google page.
  2. Add at least one comment to a post from one of the three course blogs.  Feel free to also leave comments on any science blog posts you read over the week.  This will leave a hyperlink back to your own blog, and will generate some traffic.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Let the blogging begin

Blogging 101
Now that you have set up your blogs it's time to add some content.  Before you practice the art of communicating science to the public I would like you to do some exploring on the science blogosphere.  Your assignment for next week is to identify the two best science blogs that you find during the week and add a post to your own blog with links to these sites and descriptions of what you liked about them.  How does each blog handle the tension between accuracy and style that we discussed in class today?

How do you find science blogs?  You can start with the blogroll on the right of this page, and then use the links on successive blogs to find even more.  Be sure that at least one of the blogs you use in your post is not currently on the blogroll to the right.  This is an individual assignment, so each of you should add your own post to your group blogs.

Now for the technical stuff:
  • Here is a YouTube video on posting to Blogger.
  • Be sure to proof your posts.  There is no reason for typos.
  • Use hyperlinks to link directly to other webpages.  The video above will show you how.
  • Got questions?  Leave them as a comment below to this post and I will answer them here.  Be sure to check back for the answers.
We will be looking over your posts in next week's class and discussing the following readings:
Good luck and contact me if you are having technical issues.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Welcome to Senior Seminar

thinking..."Why are you here?", you might ask.  Hopefully today will answer all of your burning questions about Bio 495.

Of course the easy answer is this class is required.  But it is required for a reason (we hope).  One purpose for this course is to discuss and practice a vital skill not just for biologists, but really for any professional field - the ability to communicate.  To get us started read the following for next week:
Please also take this Zoomerang survey by the end of this week.  And add at least two items to our Google Docs list of what we think every biologist should know.

And lastly, check out this short video made by Randy Olson, whose book we will be reading this semester: