Science Writing From the Perspective of the UW Friday Harbor Laboratories

Posted July 9, 2018 at 1:40 pm by

This is an excerpt from, Writ­ing Right There, by Eric Morel. Morel is a doc­tor­al can­di­date in the Depart­ment of Eng­lish at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton and this spring taught the Sci­ence Writ­ing for Diverse Audi­ences” course at Fri­day Har­bor Laboratories. 

Plat­form at UW Labs — Con­tributed photo

“One of the great ben­e­fits of study­ing sci­ence writ­ing at FHL is the way stakes are rein­forced by the loca­tion itself.  On sev­er­al sun­ny days, I took my stu­dents out to a plat­form near the water, and what I liked about this platform—and indeed about sundry seats on the rocky points of the cam­pus shoreline—was the vis­i­bil­i­ty of the town across the har­bor.  Espe­cial­ly as the course shift­ed its atten­tion to writ­ing about sci­ence for non-experts, this rela­tion­ship between the fore­ground and back­ground of the FHL set­ting made pos­ing such ques­tions clear rather than abstract.  We had dis­cus­sions on the plat­form about how dif­fer­ent writ­ers includ­ing Eliz­a­beth Kol­bert, Alan­na Mitchell, and Cal­lum Roberts each made choic­es to con­vey the same infor­ma­tion about ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion dif­fer­ent­ly.  For stu­dents who take a sci­ence-writ­ing class at this field sta­tion, it is visu­al­ly appar­ent that how we write mat­ters for how we reach across the UW prop­er­ty line.”

Read the entire arti­cle in Fri­day Har­bor Lab­o­ra­to­ries newslet­ter… Tide Bite July 2018, Vol. 59

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