Debating Politics and Science

This class explores how the public consumes scientific information and how scientific findings translate into policy. In a simulation format, we explore emerging science on issues like climate change, and vaccinations to understand the nature and boundaries of scientific knowledge as well as how the public thinks about those issues. Using this knowledge, we craft outreach efforts to improve public responses to these types of issues. The issues we focus on change every term depending on what scientific issues are most pressing and require a public response.


  • Fall 2021 (Comm 467) – COVID
  • Fall 2022 (Comm 467) – COVID
  • Winter 2023 (PS 489/Comm 408) – Sustainability
  • Fall 2023 (Comm 467) – Sustainability


Small working group capstone class (15-20 students). Students rotate between standing teams working to translate science into public action.

In Fall 2021 and Fall 2022, the class focused on improving behavior related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, the class focused on sustainability.

TikTok from the fall 2023 class:

Instagram from the fall 2023 class:



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