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Writing and Rhetoric


Increasingly, scientists and funding agencies such as the US National Science Foundation are recognizing the need for better science communication and more effective broader impacts activities. Compelled to make research more relevant to public stakeholders and policy makers, researchers look for ways to gain the necessary skillset to move their science from the field and laboratory into public forums. We suggest that the ancient discipline of rhetoric provides a useful – and underutilized – path forward. Building from the fundamental connections between ecology and rhetoric and drawing from practical examples at the intersection of these two fields, we demonstrate how rhetoric can inform training in science communication for better academic writing and broader impacts, and can promote interdisciplinary and cross‐institutional collaborations that support sustainability science. Integrating rhetoric and ecology helps to address complex and pressing sustainability problems through improved understanding, cooperation, and science and policy actions.


Caroline Gottschalk Druschke is from the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and the Department of Natural Resources Science.