1 Course overview & introductory questionnaire Semper, Robert J. “Science Museums as Environments for Learning.” Physics Today 43, 11, 50 (1990).

Background on Assignment #1

Discuss article on science museum

Three science musuem reviews:

Parker, Kate. “From Chalk Pit to Treasure Trove.” IEE Review, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 159–160, July 15, 1999.

Rothstein, Edward. “Opening the Doors to the Life of Pi: Museum of Mathematics at Madison Square Park.” The New York Times. December 13, 2012.

The Museumist. “Exhibit Review: Harry Potter, at the Museum of Science and Industry.” July 15, 2009.


Elements of critical review writing: Purpose, audience, content, structure and style

Discuss science museum reviews

Three science book reviews:

Pinker, Steven. “The Known World.” The New York Times. May 27, 2007.

Eisenkraft, Arthur. “Book Review: Guesstimation: Solving the World’s Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin.” American Journal of Physics 76, 887 (2008).

Bloch, Heinz P. “Book Review: Operator’s Guide to Centrifugal Pumps.” Journal of Chemical Engineering, vol. 116, no. 3 (2009).

4 In-class workshop on museum review assignment in progress:

  • Clarifying the purpose and audience of your review
  • Establishing the framework and focus
  • Organizing your main ideas

No assigned readings

Examining other kinds of critical reviews in science

Discuss science book reviews

No assigned readings
6 Background on Assignments #2 and #3 No assigned readings
7 General principles for writing about science for the general public: A mathematician’s perspective Gawande, Atul. “The Cancer-Cluster Myth.” The New Yorker. February 8, 1999.
8 Researching your topic Campbell, Thomas A., Skylar Tibbits and Banning Garrett. “The Programmable World.” Scientific American 311, no. 5 (2014): 60-65.
9 Discuss science essay No assigned readings
10 Discuss science essay Greene, Geoffrey L. and Peter Geltenbort. “The Neutron Enigma.” Scientific American 314, no. 4 (2016): 36-41.
11 Using source material in your writing No assigned readings
12 Discuss science essay No assigned readings
13 Citing source material No assigned readings
14 Illustrations in scientific & technical writing No assigned readings
15 Writing workshop on science essays No assigned readings
16 Background on Assignment #4 No assigned readings
17 Topic workshop No assigned readings
18 Absracts & Budgets No assigned readings
19 Writing workshop: Reviewing proposals No assigned readings
20 Workshop on communicating through email No assigned readings
21 Principles of effective public speaking No assigned readings
22–25 Oral Presentations No assigned readings

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2017
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples