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Bullet events, workshops · Feb 22, 2024

Writing for Impact and Influence

“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 increasingly responsible for public engagement and business writing, yet they are rarely given the tools they need to succeed.

AIBS is responding by re-offering our professional development program designed to help scientists, 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, memoranda, and more, with a focus on the reader experience. Each product-oriented session will have an assignment (deadlines are flexible), with feedback from the instructor. The course is interactive, and participants are encouraged to ask questions and exchange ideas with the instructor and other participants. Each session is also recorded and shared with all participants to accommodate scheduling conflicts.

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.

Sample Topics

  • Press releases and writing for the media
  • Blogging and social media campaigns
  • Writing for professional audiences
  • One-pagers and writing for stakeholders
  • Action/decision memoranda
  • 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 weekly 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. Students will receive timely feedback on their assignments.

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 Wednesday, 10 July 2024. The subsequent course sessions will be held weekly on Wednesday, through 14 August. All live courses will begin at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time. Recorded programs will be available to participants after the live session.


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

A non-refundable $100 deposit is due at the time of registration. Individuals will be billed for the balance prior to the course.

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