Writers' Café: Science and Creativity—Sam Pittman & Lillian Chong

February 2, 2018 - 3:30pm

For writers, science can get a bad rap--too rigid, too streamlined. And for scientists, writing can seem like a vehicle meant for clarity and not creativity. But what happens when we pull ideas and language from chemistry, biology, physics, and other hard sciences as expressive tools for our poetry, fiction, and nonfiction? And how can we take cues from poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to enliven our communication of scientific discoveries and phenomena? Through readings, discussion, and guided exercises, we'll practice writing with and about science.

Sam Pittman is the author of the poetry chapbook, Mostly Water (Seven Kitchens Press, 2018), which won the Rane Arroyo Chapbook Prize. His writing has appeared in Bellevue Literary ReviewNewfound: A Journal of PlaceGlass, and elsewhere. Sam teaches in the English Department at Pitt, and in the ESL Program at Duquesne University.


Lillian Chong is a Chemistry Professor at the University of Pittsburgh who directs a lab in computational biophysics and enjoys creative writing. She also founded the Creative Science Writing Program for Pitt Undergraduates and the Program's online magazine on Medium called Lab Musings.