Presenting Science for Policy

created by Brandon Ray, UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

Overview

In traditional education context, there is a tendency to focus on academic areas in the silo-ed approach with limited ability to work across disciplines. There are very few “science communication” courses available to undergraduates – and of those that exist, most are focused on communicating to scientific audiences or do not incorporate much practical experience (the same is also true at the graduate level). Thus, most students who do not pursue a purely academic career are left at a disadvantage. Those who work for government agencies or non-governmental organizations will be required to work in the domain of policy or, at a minimum, policy-relevant. This module is designed for students to gain exposure to different formats and styles for communicating climate science (i.e. designed for different audiences). This will give the undergraduates exposure on how to turn their research into something upon which policy-makers can act. Although this module is being tested in ATM/OCN/ESS 475, it can be revised for different topics and used in the seminar series every year or incorporated into other classes.

Focus Questions

  1. What is policy? What are some attributes of public policy?
  2. What does policy-relevant mean?
  3. What are attributes to be used in policy-relevant writing?
  4. What are attributes to be used in policy-relevant speeches?

Performance Expectations

Students will be able to:

  1. Describe public policy
  2. Define the levels of policy relevance
  3. Describe the style and techniques used in policy-relevant writing
  4. Describe the style and techniques used in policy-relevant speeches
  5. Write a policy-relevant paper based on their research interests
  6. Give a policy-relevant speech based on their research interests

Documents

Presentations:

Assignments:

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