The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Division of Student Services

Working Weekend Intensives

We haven't settled on content for intensive sessions for 2015. We'll publish information sometime in late summer.

Here's information about last year's intensives, which is representative of a Working Weekend intensive session.

We featured two intensive sessions on Saturday morning: A three-hour long science communications workshop, Science Writing: Tips From a Pro brought to you by Amy Lindsay '81. Tony Fisher '80, who was back for another Charm School session, a two-hour intensive on business etiquette.

Science Writing: Tips From a Pro 9 a.m. to noon, Vollum 120

If a scientist cannot effectively communicate what he or she has done and what it means, then it doesn’t mean anything. Your ability to land a good job, get promoted, win grants, or even graduate from Reed depend on your ability to draft clear and compelling written and oral scientific communications, and to do it FAST.


  1. Send your name, year, and major to Amy Lindsay.
  2. In the email, please state your hopes for the session.
  3. Bring any research or science writing to the session.
  4. Be prepared to write!

Course Description

This workshop will provide practical, intensive instruction in how to efficiently draft effective scientific communications. Seniors will acquire skills that can be applied immediately to their theses, and all participants will learn how to establish habits that can be applied to the various types of communications essential to any scientific career—in academia or industry, in the physical or social sciences.

The material will be presented in a series of 15 to 20 minute lecture-demonstrations followed by immediate practical application. Instruction will focus on solving the problems most often cited by those who have to read scientific documents (hard to read, doesn’t flow, doesn’t seem to have a point, too long) as well as those who have to write them (don’t know where to start, problems with writer’s block, takes forever). Specific topics covered will include Storytelling in a Scientific Context, Fundamentals of Effective Style, and Process Tips and Techniques.

Specific Aims

Upon completion, participants will be able to describe exactly how they would approach the writing of their thesis and/or a publication quality manuscript. Participants will also be able to list at least five characteristics of a well-written original research paper and a well-written review article.

Target Audience: All majors or prospective majors in either the physical or social sciences. Alumni and faculty are also welcome if space is available. Preference will be given to seniors and juniors, in that order.

Come Prepared to Write! Seniors are encouraged to bring anything that they have done toward their thesis so far: background material, protocol, raw data, and/or anything they have already written. Non-seniors are invited to bring data and protocols from any class they have taken. Participants who don’t have anything yet (likely for most), are encouraged to make something up. Dummy data will be provided for those who are not able to bring material of their own.

Faculty Bio 

Please see Amy Lindsay's bio. 

Tony Fisher's Charm School 10 a.m. to noon, Vollum 116

Tony Fisher '80, writes:

Landing a job and achieving success in a professional environment requires many types of interpersonal skills. This two hour session will cover many core skills which will help you:

-       Prepare a great resume that showcases your talents, skills, education, experience, and character strengths

-       Improve your interviewing skills—on the phone, in an office, and across a dinner table

-       Be more effective in an enterprise work environment

-      Give better individual and group presentations

-      Be a more comfortable and effective public speaker