Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post from Bethann Merkle (@CommNatural). She holds an MFA in nonfiction creative writing, has written over 300 articles and essays, edited a textbook, and works at the University of Wyoming as the Director of the Wyoming Science Communication Initiative. She will shortly be starting a column on science writing in the ESA Bulletin.
It doesn’t take much conversation with instructors of all career stages to recognize some consensus and irony: we wish students in our classes could write better, but we rarely actually teach writing skills. This is borne out by the literature (Guilford 2001; Robertson 2004).
Indeed, the paradox is: “the teaching of writing is not central to science education” (Reynolds and Thompson 2011).
Being inclined to see for ourselves, though, we thought we’d run a poll. Do you teach writing as part of the science courses you teach? Why or why not? Please share your replies in the poll below.