I think the answer to your question depends much on the level (undergrad/grad)
and the nature/focus (theory/research/practice) of the course.
But I'd recommend: Randy Harris' anthology "Rhetoric and Incommensurability,"
which contains relevant essay. Allen Gross' "Rhetoric of Science" is 17 years
old, but you might find it useful as well. Some other great works in the
rhetorical tradition include: Jeanne Fahnestock's "The rhetorical life of
scientific facts" and "Rhetorical figures in science," Davida Charney's analysis
of "Longitude" to show the fundamental misunderstanding of values of science by
journalism (The title is "Lone geniuses in popular science" in Written
communication 20(3).) Written Communication did a special issue on rhetoric of
science in 2004 (vol 21, issue 1): This issue contains Danette Paul's
exploration of diffusion of scientific ideas and antoher Fahnestock's work (on
visual parallelism in science) among others.
As Ryan suggested, Bazerman's "Shaping Written Knowledge" is excellent. Just in
case you didn't know, this out-of-print book is available electronically at:
There are several interesting works outside our field that look at science and
its relationship to its stakeholders. For example, Sheila Jasanoff's "Designs on
Nature" explores the relationship between science and public policy while *a
lot* has been written on the relationship between science and law (e.g.
admissibility standard in Daubert). I kind of like "The age of expert testimony:
Science in the courtroom" as a starter because it's short and easy, while
covering the basics you need to get started.
I've seen some practical "how-to" books, but I can't remember any of the titles.
Maybe somebody who teaches tech comm or science WAC might know.
> Can anyone suggest a text book for a course in communication and science? The
course examines how critical scientific issues are communicated to science's
major stakeholders, the public, government, and within scientific community
itself. Thanks. Jean
Tosh Tachino, M.A., B.A. Honors
Ph.D. Candidate, Iowa State University
Rhetoric and Professional Communication
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