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Writing for Impact and Influence

Writing for Impact and Influence

Location: American Institute of Biological Sciences

Presented by: Publications Department

Event took place on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Duration: Six 90-minute online

An AIBS Professional Development Program for Biologists

It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly.
-C. J. Cherryh

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) has heard a common refrain from faculty, scientists, government and private sector executives, and everyone in between: Scientists are losing the ability to communicate effectively in writing. The concern is less about how well a scientific manuscript is drafted and more about how routine business and public engagement information are communicated.

Register AIBS is responding by offering a professional development program designed to help biologists, including graduate students, hone their written communication skills to increase the impact and influence of their message.

This course complements AIBS's highly successful Communications Boot Camp for Scientists, which focuses on oral communication.

Writing for Impact and Influence provides practical instruction and hands-on exercises that will improve the participant's general writing proficiency. The program will provide participants with the skills and tools needed to compose scientific press releases, blog posts, emails, and memoranda. Each product-focused session will have an assignment to be completed independently, with feedback from the instructor. The course is interactive, and participants are encouraged to ask questions and converse freely with the instructor and other participants.

Who Should Take the Course?

  • Individuals interested in furthering their professional development by augmenting their writing skills.
  • Graduate students and early career professionals interested in increasing their marketability to employers.
  • Individuals interested in more effectively informing and influencing segments of the public, supervisors, policymakers, reporters, organizational leaders, and others.

  • Press releases and writing for the media
  • Blogging and other writing for the public
  • E-Correspondence and writing for professional audiences
  • One-pagers and writing for stakeholders
  • Action/decision memoranda and writing for diverse professional audiences
  • Synthesis
Participant Requirements
Internet access, email account, and computer audio and video capabilities.

Course Structure
The course consists of six 90-minute online modules conducted live and subsequently archived online for participant review. Modules are spaced at roughly two-week intervals to allow time for assignment completion. Live attendance is recommended but not required, and the instructor can be contacted by email at any time during the course.

A writing assignment will be given in each of the first five courses. Completion of the assignments is highly recommended. To receive instructor feedback before the next class, assignments must be completed within one week.

Certificate of Completion
Individuals who actively participate in and complete the full course will receive a certificate recognizing that they have completed a nine-hour professional development course on business writing for scientists.

The course will begin on June 22, 2017. Subsequent course sessions will be on July 13 and 27, August 10 and 24, and September 7, 2017. All live courses will begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time. Recorded programs will be available to participants by the Tuesday after the live course.


$375/person AIBS Individual Members. The course is not tax deductible, but a portion of an individual AIBS membership is tax deductible. Join or renew now.
$375/person Individuals officially nominated to participate by an AIBS Member Society or Organization (MSO) in good standing.
$445/personIndividuals who are not AIBS members. Join AIBS now to save $70.00.

Register Instructor
James Verdier James Verdier
Senior Editor, BioScience
American Institute of Biological Sciences

Space is limited and the course will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Registration is required.

Register Donations from individuals who participate in our programs help us provide additional programming. Please help us host more of these important conversations by making a donation to AIBS today.

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