Science Writing and New Media: Perspectives on Medicine and Public Health

A silver fountain pen rests on top of a paper marked with edits in red ink.

Along with writing for their peers, physicians must also communicate their knowledge to the general public. Assignments in this course will challenge students to consider the distinctive needs of different audiences. (Image courtesy of Nic McPhee on flickr. Used with permission.)


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Fall 2016



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Course Description

Like other scientists, medical researchers and clinicians must be capable of presenting their work to an audience of professional peers. Unlike many scientists, however, physicians must routinely translate their sophisticated knowledge into lay terms for their own patients and for the education of the public at large. A surprising number of physicians write for less utilitarian reasons as well, choosing the narrative essay as a means of exploring the non-technical issues that emerge in their clinical practice. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the full range of writings by physicians and other health practitioners.

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Cynthia Taft. 21W.034 Science Writing and New Media: Perspectives on Medicine and Public Health. Fall 2016. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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