Mellon Science Fellowship
This is a pivotal juncture for Kenyon’s interdisciplinary science writing program:
- Still in its formative stage, the program aims to strengthen the underlying connections between and among the humanities and sciences, broadly defined. Science writing emerged as a grassroots effort among faculty in English/creative writing and the Natural Sciences. This academic year, a Faculty Learning Community (16 members from 8 different academic departments) has begun discussions on how to improve and expand science writing in our courses and in the college curriculum. A recent grant from the Mellon Foundation, and strong institutional support, will enable us to further develop the program, including establishment of the Mellon Science Writing Fellow at Kenyon College, workshops for faculty, symposia, speakers, and ongoing faculty learning communities.
- Kenyon takes a liberal arts approach towards science writing, integrating scientific inquiry and literary writing. As such, science writing at Kenyon runs the gamut from history and philosophy of science, nature writing and human-technology interactions, to ecopoetry, biomedical narrative, ethics and speculative fiction. Poems, plays, films, stories and blog posts are included if science is paramount to their aims, structures, approaches or themes. Using literary methods, it strives to be pleasing to read while inviting discovery, deeper understanding and further exploration about the physical universe and our human place in it.
- Science writing builds upon Kenyon’s singular strengths in teaching both writing and science. Faculty across the campus value and teach disciplinary and creative writing, with the expectation that students will continually work toward clarity of expression. One of the many examples of the pride in and importance of writing at Kenyon includes our student-founded creative science community, Lyceum, which publishes a journal each semester of science-inspired poetry, artwork, and essays (https://kenyonlyceum.wordpress.com/). The Kenyon Review, a premier international literary organization, also champions and supports science writing, including publication of a special issue (“The Poetics of Science”, Sept/Oct 2016) and the Kenyon Review Young Science Writers, a two-week summer program for high-school students.
- The Natural Sciences at Kenyon are exceptionally vibrant and accomplished. Our scientists have a remarkable record of extramural grant support, a significant marker of excellence, including 15 active National Science Foundation awards, including three recipients of the intensely-competitive NSF CAREER awards, among the most prestigious accolades for young scientists. Several faculty members have also garnered grants from the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Agriculture, and private foundations. Our scientists regularly publish in top journals with undergraduate co-authors, and present research findings at national conferences.
- Faculty in English and the Natural Sciences have collaborated over the past four years to develop team-taught science writing courses that break down the false dichotomy between humanistic and scientific ways of knowing. In these generative workshops, students discuss examples of science writing, write in response to prompts, and provide constructive feedback. These courses draw students from across the college, enabling synthesis and communication of knowledge across disciplines.
Please direct inquiries to Amy Quinlivan: firstname.lastname@example.org
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