Writing Matters: a series about writing's connection with academic and professional success.
Everyone, no matter what their field, needs the ability to communicate effectively in a range of situations. Academic and professional success depend upon it. Stanford's President, John Hennessy, a computer scientist and electrical engineer, once put it this way:
"[In college] we had a notion that engineers had to know how to use slide rules or calculators or computers but not how to write. And that is the biggest falsehood you could possibly perpetrate on young people. I think writing and rhetoric -- public speaking -- are the two most valuable skills across any discipline in any field."
Nicholas Jenkins, Faculty Director of PWR, asked ten members of Stanford's faculty in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering about the importance of communication in their disciplines and about why writing matters to them.