During the summer and fall of 2015, the Center for Health Decision Science (CHDS) at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator at Harvard University launched a monthly Writing Group. The group aims to offer a welcoming, informal, and encouraging lunch forum where affiliated faculty and staff can explore various aspects of writing and ideas for successful publication across genres and disciplines related to global health, decision science, and public health education.
Organized by Dr. Eve Wittenberg, Senior Research Scientist at CHDS, the first four meetings combined invited guest speakers with working sessions to discuss writing styles across various media. Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum, a local cardiologist who also writes for The New Yorker and is National Correspondent for the New England Journal of Medicine, shared with the group her journey of combining clinical science with a passion for writing, particularly the challenges of writing op-eds and articles for a lay audience. In November Dr. Susan Holman, the Incubator’s Senior Writer, discussed the different opportunities in writing for book publication, drawing from her experiences as a writer in public health and human rights, medicine, the history of medicine, and the academic intersections between religion and health. In the final fall session, participants discussed several pre-circulated articles by Dr. Atul Gawande that illustrate writing for a range of different audiences.
During 2016, the Writing Group plans to further explore creative genres and communication opportunities. Ideas under discussion include a video practice session drawing on the studio resources of the Incubator, lunch sessions to share works in progress, how to write for blogs, and tips for media interviews. Watch for more information!