The Department of Life Sciences Communication (LSC) is a world leader working at the intersection of science, media, and society. The LSC major teaches students how to understand the way we all make sense of increasingly complex scientific breakthroughs that we often know little about. This theoretical background allows them to learn to more effectively communicate about controversial science topics in areas such as the environment and natural resources, health, agriculture, and new science technologies like gene editing and artificial intelligence.

LSC allows students to pursue an individualized curriculum focusing on strategic communication, writing, marketing, visual communication, or digital media with an emphasis on the sciences. Key to the education that LSC students receive is a combination of theoretical grounding and state-of-the-art practical applications. Students receive instruction across multimedia platforms such as print, audio, video and web. They are taught how to target and create communications for both news and marketing. Most important, they learn how to plan strategically and implement the most effective communications for diverse audiences.

Our faculty study a broad range of science communication issues critical to the future of our state, nation, and global community. Examples include combating invasive species to preserve environmental integrity, how risk perceptions influence public opinion of controversial science topics, and how businesses, universities, and non-profits can better work with consumers and citizens to ensure that we use science to society’s benefit. Our instructors are a mix of world-class researchers and real-world practitioners of regional or national profiles.

The interdisciplinary education that LSC graduates receive make them highly sought after by employers across both scientific and communication industries. Many go on to careers in science writing, digital media and marketing, public health, environmental advocacy, and research in industry, non-profits and the government. Others go on to graduate and professional schools in the health, biological, social and physical sciences.

Approximately 30% of our students choose to double major or pursue a certificate in areas such as genetics and genomics, dairy science, physics, environmental science, legal studies, global health and more, to complement what they learn in LSC.

Professors

Brossard (chair), Meiller, Scheufele (director of academic programs), Xenos

Associate Professors

Shaw, Shepard

Assistant PROFESSORS

Chen, Chinn, Li, Newman

Faculty Associates

Botham, Fisher, Stanley

Lecturers

Nelson, Still