The Rhetoric of Science
This course examines how rhetoric—the art and craft of persuasion—is used by scientists and writers of science to construct scientific knowledge in communities. Thomas Kuhn asserts that “all science is rhetorical” and that for scientific knowledge to be accepted in society, it must be persuasive.
Cristiano Banti's 1857 painting
Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition
We will look at different genres of science writing such as the academic journal article, the television and newspaper report, the lab report, advertisements, and film. Students will be encouraged to focus their essays and presentations on the rhetorical analysis of issues in science that reflect their particular disciplinary interest.
This course will be of interest to students across disciplines, but particularly those in the Human and Natural Sciences, and in Communications, Law, and Education. If you have questions about it and when it is offered, please contact the Academic Writing Program.