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WRTG 3030 Writing on Science and Society: Topics in Writing

Instructor Contact:

Dr. David Williams


About the Course:

Through selected reading and writing assignments, students consider ethical and social ramifications of science policy and practice. Focuses on critical thinking, analytical writing, and oral presentation. Taught as a writing workshop, the course addresses effective communication with professional and non-technical audiences. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours. Designed for junior and senior Engineering, EBIO, GEOL, ASTR, IPHY, PHYS, ENVS, MATH, ECON, BCHM, CHEM, or PSYC majors. Approved for GT CO3. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: written communication.


After taking this course, you should:

  • have a better background regarding the nature of neuroscience, scientific writing, and evolutionary biology.
  • be able to use new scientific ideas (such as neuroscience) to analyze human behavior.
  • understand how rhetoric is used in the advancement of ideas.
  • understand multiple ways of communicating through media.
  • see the relationship between the environment, the economy, and the evolved brain.

Required Texts:

Kindle Versions of all Books are available at You do not need a Kindle reader. All you have to do is download a free Kindle app for your computer to read Kindle texts.

Why We Love by Helen Fisher

  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0801873304

The Trickster Brain: Neuroscience, Evolution, and Narrative by David Williams

  • Publisher: Lexington Books (2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0739143972


  • 5 Points – Worldviews, 1 page
  • 5 Points – Nature of Science Writing, 1 page
  • 5 Points – Biology or Culture?, 2 pages
  • 5 Points – Evolution, 2 pages
  • 5 Points – Writing for Different Audiences, 2 pages
  • 5 Points – Emotion in the Brain, 2 pages
  • 5 Points – Truth and Confirmation Bias, 2 pages
  • 5 Points – Figuring Each Other Out—Theory of Mind, 1 page
  • 25 Points – Research Paper, 8 pages (16 if including revisions), Research, and Evidence. This paper has 3 different sections.
  • 10 Points – Money, nature, and Our Brains, 2 pages
  • 15 Points – Project 1 Video, 2 minutes, equivalent of 10 pages
  • 10 Points – Discussion—Participation

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