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This course can no longer be booked.

Art & Wonder: How to Talk About Science

4 weeks with Nayani Jensen, Tuesdays 6:30-9pm ET

  • Ended
  • 295 Canadian dollars
  • Zoom


The question of how we write and talk about science—particularly climate—has never been more important. As the data, figures, and journal content of scientific fields become increasingly specialized and distant from daily human experience, this leads to misinformation, lack of trust, and a divide between the outputs of scientific study and popular understanding. Cutting-edge science wasn’t always the domain of inscrutable journals and small groups of specialists. At other points in history it took the form of theatrical displays, poetry, and moving personal writing. Robert Hooke introduced the microscope to the public with fold-out illustrations of a flea as big as a human head. Charles Darwin’s grandfather wrote volumes of poetry on plant classification. The question for this course is: how might we recapture that wonder, curiosity and interdisciplinary nature of science writing? Or, more simply, what might it look like to re-unite art and science? In this interdisciplinary course, we will look closely at examples from across a range of sources and time periods, examining how scientists communicated wonder, curiosity, and new findings to the public audiences of their times. From Hooke’s 1665 Micrographia to Darwin’s Origin of Species, to the nature writing of the Romantic Poets and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, we will examine unusual and wonderful examples of the art of science. We will then think about how we might learn from these approaches. How might we more effectively talk about science in relation to climate, or public health? Each week will have a theme: - Through the lens: visualizing new worlds - Evolution, revolution: Darwin and contemporaries - Poets & Scientists: Bridging the Divide - Climate: the past and future for science communication Each session will have a set of curated readings drawn from rich primary texts, a lecture on the theme from the instructor, followed by a facilitated discussion. This course requires no formal science training, and is ideal for artists, scientists, educators, people interested in science communication or history of science, and anyone in between. *ENROLLMENT ENDS SEP 26 OR WHEN CLASS IS FULL * About the Instructor: Nayani Jensen is a historian of science, writer, and Rhodes Scholar from Nova Scotia, Canada. Originally a Mechanical Engineer working in climate research, she is interested in merging arts and sciences in interdisciplinary approaches to history, climate and fiction.

Booking and Cancellation Policy

To cancel, please inform us at least 7 days in advance of the first session for a full refund. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first session are entitled to a full course credit. Please email us at for cancelling requests.

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