In this course you will learn how to unlock the power of poetry to engage and inspire diverse audiences with science. Learn how to use the art of verse to disseminate scientific information, spark dialogue, and foster participation. Discover a new way to connect with and excite people about the wonders of science. This course will appeal to scientists and poets who are interested in finding out how to communicate science in innovative and creative ways.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:


1. Reflect on how poetry can be used as an effective tool for science communication.

2. Create poetry that helps to communicate scientific research to diverse audiences.

3. Analyse how poetry might be used as a research method to help develop scientific discourse and dialogue.


Course Details

All webinars will take place on a Tuesday from 12:00 - 13:00 and will also be recorded for those who are unable to make the live session. 


Week 1: Tuesday 22nd October 12:00 - 13:00

Introduction to Science Communication through Poetry

•              Overview of the course and its objectives

•              Importance of science communication in society

•              Introduce the concept of using poetry as a medium for science communication


Week 2: Tuesday 29th October 12:00 - 13:00

Understanding Poetry as a Medium for Science Communication

•              Study of different poetry forms and their suitability for communicating science

•              Analysis of existing examples of science poetry

•              Practice exercises in writing science poetry


Week 3: Tuesday 5th November 12:00 - 13:00

Science Poetry as a Tool for Public Engagement

•              Understanding the role of science poetry in public engagement and education

•              Study of effective strategies for sharing science poetry with a wider audience

•              Practice exercises in developing and delivering science poetry presentations


Week 4: Tuesday 12th November 12:00 - 13:00

Conclusion and Graduation

•              Review of key concepts covered in the course

•              Discussion of opportunities for further exploration and engagement in science poetry

•              Graduation event

How you'll be taught

The course will take place online over 4 weeks (see course outline above) and will comprise of one 1-hr webinar per week plus additional exercises.


Who will teach you?

Dr Sam Illingworth is an Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University and an award-winning science communicator, author, and poet. His research involves using poetry to help developing dialogue between scientists and non-scientists through the medium of poetry. He is also the founder of the science and poetry journal Consilience. You can find out more about Sam and his work by visiting his website www.samillingworth.com and connect with him on Twitter @samillingworth.


There are no assessments on this course.


Entry Requirements 


There are no formal entry requirements to this course.


Fees and Funding 


£50 per student. We will be offering 3 bursaries for those people who are currently on a low income. Please email the course leader (Sam Illingworth; s.illingworth@napier.ac.uk) to apply for one of these bursaries. 


Feedback from past participants

"I enjoyed meeting like minded people - I don't know anyone else who loves both science and poetry!”

"I thought it was well-structured, with plenty of reminders, and all of the course materials easy to access through the online platform.”