Writing on Science, Technology, and Society (Op-Eds, Vignettes, Discussion Pieces) (Workshop)

Vortragende/r (Mitwirkende/r)
  • Sebastian Pfotenhauer
Umfang1.5 SWS
SemesterWintersemester 2015/16
Stellung in StudienplänenSiehe TUMonline


Teilnahmekriterien & Anmeldung

Siehe TUMonlineYou are required to submit a short (one paragraph) explanation to the course instructor (pfotenh@mit.edu) of why this workshop is relevant for you. Decisions will be made on a first-come, first serve basis.


In the process, workshop participants will (1) practice how to write (succinctly!) in English and iteratively improve on argument clarity, structure, and style; (2) work on finding “their own voice”; and (3) learn how to give, and work with, constructive peer feedback as an intellectual collective.


Experts – including academic researchers – are increasingly under pressure to write for broader audiences beyond their immediate scientific community. They are expected to comment on current events, clarify their position on the latest scientific or technological developments, and put their work into meaningful dialogue with various publics. Scholars of STS and Science Policy in particular frequently find themselves in the challenging role of a commentator and multi-way translator between science, politics, and society at large. This workshop introduces young and emerging scholars with an interest in STS to various short writing formats beyond traditional journal articles or book publications. In particular, we will discuss and experiment with op-eds, opinion pieces, vignettes, and discussion pieces. The goal of the workshop is to have each participant write one commentary/op-ed piece (~ 800 words) about a topic of their choice and submit it to an appropriate outlet by the end of the term. Topics may (but don’t have to) be related to the participant’s thesis research.

Lehr- und Lernmethoden

The workshop will proceed in multiple stages, including a total of three in-class meetings (intro session, small-group meetings to discuss first drafts and feed-back, final presentations) as well as peer-to-peer feedback via email.