This semester, I am heading a science writing and social media seminar with six undergraduates at Indiana University. It’s mostly an excuse to get some of the keenest young minds in psychology and cognitive science into my living room to discuss some of my favorite-ever popular science articles (and, let’s be honest, to taste-test some delicious cakes I’ve been baking with the help of Vintage Cakes). It’s also a chance to explore the art of online communication through established venues, like WordPress blogs and Twitter, and to try out new ways of sharing, like Storify. While I’m certainly not new to social media, I am new to teaching, and as a science blog reader, I would love your input and support. If you would like to check out and respond to the students’ work over the course of the semester, you can add our seminar blog to your bookmarks. (Not much there yet, but lots to come!) Comments and suggestions on writing, citing, or readings are encouraged. You can also follow our Twitter feed, or add the students individually. If you have ideas to share, or have taught a course like this yourself, I would love to hear from you, either in the comments here or via Twitter. You can find me @moximer.
What’s the most surprising thing I’ve learned in class thus far?
When it comes to writing about stimulants, not a reader in the room thought Jonah Lehrer had a clue how to catch their attention, but they all fell hard for Ms. Molly Young. Keep it personal, say the 19-year olds. (Vintage Cakes also made mention that cupcakes are so named because they were originally baked in teacups. Mmm..!)