Millersville Offers New MDST: Science Writing (MDST Science Writing cut sheet)
Students with complementary interests in science and writing have a new path to take at Millersville, the MDST Science Writing. In this program, students will develop science specializations that they can deepen and put to use through writing. This program provides skills that are in high demand and that can help students become strong voices to support environmental causes, technological understanding, and science advocacy.
Today, many professional science organizations push their members to develop communication skills. The same is true for industries. By knowing both science and effective writing, students will graduate with expertise that is in high demand in careers as journalists, science & technology bloggers, communication specialists in medical and health agencies as well as governmental regulatory agencies. The energy industry and non-governmental organizations focused on the environment also need writers with a good grasp on science.
The MDST Science Writing will provide foundational understanding of two key cores. The first core provides journalism courses, including newly developed courses in Science Writing and Environmental Advocacy Writing. More English courses are also under development. The second core asks students to specialize in two of four science disciplines (earth science, biology, physics, and/or chemistry).
The MDST Science Writing draws from advisors in each of the connected science disciplines and is headed in English by Dr. Justin Mando. Dr. Mando, a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, was recently hired for his specialization in science writing. His research focuses on public engagement in scientific controversies, specifically the debate over hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania. He is also an avid fly angler and, since arriving in Lancaster County, has fallen in love with the Susquehanna River.
The MDST Science Writing will not only provide in-class skills, but also experiences in the field to work as both scientists and writers tasked with communicating findings to concerned parties. Dr. Mando plans to begin a Susquehanna River Project that invites interdisciplinary participants to engage with the river to raise awareness of threats, of its value to our community, and of the lessons it has to teach us as researchers and writers.
—-Dr. Justin Mando, Assistant Professor of Science and Technical Writing