Notation in Science Communication



The Notation in Science Communication represents a new opportunity for undergraduates to develop their science communication skills.  Through a combination of coursework, advising, and reflection, selected students can earn a designation on their official transcripts.

The Notation in Science Communication reflects Stanford’s commitment to addressing society’s compelling need for strong communicative literacy among its scientists and engineers.  It gives students the chance to develop as specialists capable of explaining science in clear and compelling ways to a range of audiences.  Students will also develop collaborative problem-solving skills and strategies for communication across media.

The Notation is housed in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) but, in the spirit of the SUES (Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford) Report, relies on collaborations with departments and programs across the university.  The Notation requires two advanced courses in PWR plus one departmental or program course beyond their WIM requirement that focuses on communication skills in relation to discipline-specific content.  

The capstone of the Notation, the electronic Portfolio (ePortfolio), will document students’ achievements in communication and writing.  This ePortfolio showcases students’ ability to communicate effectively across disciplines, audiences, and genres.  It will be assessed by a committee as the final requirement of the Notation.  

Admittance to the Notation is competitive.   500-word application essays will be reviewed each fall and spring.  Students will typically be admitted to the Notation at the end of the sophomore or beginning of the junior year (perhaps in conjunction with declaring a major or shortly thereafter).  At that time, students line up their advisors, one from the major and one from PWR, who will mentor students throughout the Notation process.  

Advanced PWR courses focused on issues in science communication will be available beginning in the winter quarter of 2014.

See Also

Key Facts for Prospective Students

Winter quarter advanced PWR Courses