For Professionals

LSC offers a number of online summer courses open to professionals seeking to enhance their skill set and become better science communicators. Our classes are appropriate for scientists interested in learning to better communicate about their research to a variety of audiences or communication professionals looking to gain a better understanding of how to communicate about topics like health, biotechnology, agriculture or the environment.

What’s next?

Professionals who want to take LSC online courses and are not currently enrolled students, need to first complete a free application to be a UW-Madison “special student” at least one month prior to the start of the course. in order to enroll in courses at the university. The application can be found here.

Applicants will be asked to select their student status in the application. Most likely, professionals interested in courses offered by the Department of Life Sciences Communication will fall under the category of UNDS (Professional Development or Personal Interest) or UNRS (Preparation for Admission to Graduate or Professional School).

Please Note: The special student application asks for a statement of interest, but this can be a short sentence stating the class of interest.

Information about special student tuition and fees can be found on the Adult Career and Special Student Services’ tuition and fees webpage.

For additional information on special student status, refer to the university special student section of the UW-Madison Continuing Studies website.

Summer LSC online course offerings:

LSC 251: Science, Media and Society

LSC 251 is a five-week online course that is an introduction to communication at the intersection of science, politics and society.

Students will learn an overview of the theoretical foundations of science communication and their relevance for societal debates about science and emerging technologies.

LSC 350: Visualizing Science and Technology

LSC 350 is another five-week online course that explores the emerging field of neuro-aesthetics and its implications for understanding visual communication in the media, sciences, and visual arts.

Students will learn to understand the power of the visual brain, expand visual critical thinking skills to analyze how images attract audiences, articulate visual theory, and create effective visual messages.

LSC 432: Social Media for the Life Sciences

LSC 432 is a five-week online course that focuses on communicating effectively with social media that takes a close look at how social media shape modern interactions. Students will learn to create a social media/digital marketing strategy, understand and leverage various online platforms to create meaningful connections, and measure the impact of their social media practice.

By the end of this course, students will have experience using social media and content marketing to promote their brand and add value to other businesses and organizations in their field.

LSC 560: Scientific Writing

LSC 560 is a five-week online course that focuses on helping professionals, scientists, and researchers become better writers and communicators of scientific information, whether writing for scientific journals or general publications aimed at lay audiences.

The course is structured to build skills in three key areas: bringing clarity and simplicity to language; recognizing and using storytelling elements to better communicate complex science; and learning how to use tools such as analogy and definition to make scientific information more accessible. Throughout the course, students will monitor current media coverage to explore the subject of science and society and the growing importance of clear, accurate communication for scientific information in fields ranging from medicine to chemistry and physics.