ENGL / ENVST 305 RHETORIC, SCIENCE, AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT (SPRING 2020)

Welcome to Rhetoric, Science, and Public Engagement! This course focuses on theoretical and practical aspects of public engagement with scientific research, policy, and management, with an emphasis on science communication. During the semester, we’ll explore University of Wisconsin’s land grant mandate to share university research with the public and use university resources to explore public needs. We’ll build from readings in science communication and public participation in science to consider the challenges to and opportunities for public engagement with science. At the end of the class, you’ll use what you’ve learned this semester about the theory and practice of public engagement and science communication to design, execute, and assess an activity that engages a segment of the public in scientific research (ideally your own!). In short, this class is about learning and doing.

Full syllabus downloadable here.

DAILY PLANS

WEEK ONE

Tuesday, January 21

Introductions and syllabus review

Homework for Thursday, January 23:

  • Reread syllabus
  • Write three questions about the class
  • Create a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) of yourself as your experience relates to this class
  • Druschke & McGreavy, Why Rhetoric Matters for Ecology

Thursday, January 23

Review of syllabus; SWOT analysis activity; deeper introduction to Dr. Druschke and students; brief introduction to rhetorical studies

Homework for Tuesday, January 28:

WEEK TWO

Tuesday, January 28

Rhetoric extravaganza! Why would rhetoric be useful to what we’re trying to do here?; prep for Wisconsin Idea readings

Homework for Thursday, January 30:​

Thursday, January 30

Follow-up on the Cox and Pezzullo and Druschke and McGreavy readings. The Wisconsin Idea – what are we doing here? Why would it be useful? How could it be problematic? How are we participating in it?

Homework for Tuesday, February 4:

WEEK THREE

Tuesday, February 4

NO CLASS MEETING! Alternate activity: self-guided field trip to mound sites around campus. Check out the “Human Landscapes” data layers on the Lakeshore Preserve interactive map linked on this page and visit several sites.

Homework for Thursday, February 6:

  • Write up a 3 pg. (double-spaced) reflection about your visit and its connections to the land grant mission and the Wisconsin Idea. What role might SCIENCE play in all this?

Thursday, February 6

Bringing it all together – land grant, Wisconsin Idea, and the production of science – what role can rhetoric play? Review session for exam #1

Homework for Tuesday, February 11:

  • Review for exam #1

WEEK FOUR

Tuesday, February 11

EXAM #1

Homework for Thursday, February 13:

Thursday, February 13

Review exam questions; introduce major writing projects; assessment and why it matters

Homework for Tuesday, February 18:

WEEK FIVE

Tuesday, February 18

Making sense of public engagement – thinking about your own projects!

Homework for Thursday, February 20:

Thursday, February 20

Discuss expertise and experience; share statements with other students; consider group projects; sign up for conferences

Homework for Tuesday, February 25:

  • Review for exam #2

WEEK SIX

Tuesday, February 25

Review session for exam #2

Homework for Thursday, February 27:

  • Review for exam #2

Thursday, February 27

EXAM #2

Homework for Tuesday, March 3:

WEEK SEVEN

Tuesday, March 3

CONFERENCES! No class meeting! Bring project proposal to conference – what do you want to do? why? how will you assess that?

Homework for Tuesday, March 10:

  • Prepare for pitch presentations

Tuesday, March 5

CONFERENCES! No class meeting! Bring project proposal to conference – what do you want to do? why? how will you assess that?

Homework for Tuesday, March 10:

  • Prepare for pitch presentations

WEEK EIGHT

Tuesday, March 10

PITCH PRESENTATIONS! Audience members respond via index cards: what works? what doesn’t? how does the project connect to the Wisconsin Idea? how could it better address the tenets of inclusive scicomm?

Homework for Thursday, March 12:

  • Continue prepping for pitch presentations

Thursday, March 12

PITCH PRESENTATIONS! Audience members respond via index cards: what works? what doesn’t? how does the project connect to the Wisconsin Idea? how could it better address the tenets of inclusive scicomm?

Homework for Tuesday, March 24:

  • Start working on your final projects!

WEEK NINE

Tuesday, March 17

SPRING BREAK!

Tuesday, March 19

SPRING BREAK!

WEEK TEN

Tuesday, March 24

Getting our heads back together! Inclusive scicomm review and workshop – how does it connect to our early Wisconsin Idea discussion? How can it shape your projects?

Homework for Thursday, March 26:

Thursday, March 26

Connections to environmental justice. What is the role of ethics in public engagement?

Homework for Tuesday, March 31:

WEEK ELEVEN

Tuesday, March 31

LAST DAY TO SUBMIT ENGAGEMENT ANALYSIS PAPERS! Project workshop! What are you doing, when, and how? (Exactly.)

Homework for Thursday, April 2:

  • Shirk et al., “Public participation in scientific research: a framework for deliberate design”
  • Druschke and Seltzer, “Failures of engagement: lessons learned from a citizen science pilot study”
  • Bonney, et al., “Can citizen science enhance public understanding of science?”

Thursday, April 2

Public participation discussion – lessons for your projects. P.S. Failure is okay!

Homework for Tuesday, April 7:

  • To be determined based on student interest

WEEK TWELVE

Tuesday, April 7

Review session for exam #3

Homework for Thursday, April 9:

  • Review for exam #3

Thursday, April 9

EXAM #3

Homework for Tuesday, April 14:

  • Bring all project assessment materials for workshop

WEEK THIRTEEN

Tuesday, April 14

Assessment workshop – what are you learning and how do you know? What are you doing to advance inclusive science communication?

Homework for Thursday, April 16:

  • Prepare a short presentation about your final project. How did it go? How do you know?

Thursday, April 16

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

WEEK FOURTEEN

Tuesday, April 21

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

Thursday, April 23

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

WEEK FIFTEEN

Tuesday, April 28

Peer writing workshop of final papers

Thursday, April 30

Synthesizing what we’ve learned; group work on best practices; course evaluations; final questions

EXAM WEEK

Tuesday, May 5

FINAL PROJECT DUE to Canvas by 11:59pm