• Offered by Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Science Communication
  • Areas of interest Science Communication
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Lindy Orthia
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course SCOM6003
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2018
    See Future Offerings

How has Brave New World shaped the human cloning debate? Why did forensic science enrolments boom simultaneously with the popularity of CSI and Silent Witness? How is Doctor Who useful for engaging high school students in science learning? To what extent did Frankenstein establish a negative image of scientists? Why is theatre an effective HIV/AIDS education tool in South Africa and not in Australia? What role did Star Trek's Lt Uhura play in recruiting astronauts to the NASA space program? How might The Day After Tomorrow impact the public understanding of climate change?

This course provides an introduction to the impact of fictional representations of science and scientists on public perceptions of science. It introduces research, theory and methods from this growing area of science communication as applied to fictional works including films, television programs, plays, novels, short stories and comics. Students are encouraged to share their own experiences of science-based fiction and to pursue their areas of interest through assessment. The major piece of assessment is a research project testing students' hypotheses about the impact that a work of fiction might have on public perceptions of science. The research project will be completed individually, but there will be an option to develop the research ideas as a team with a view to obtaining publishable results.

Learning Outcomes

 Upon satisfactorily meeting the course requirements, students will be able to:

  1. explain the context and importance of fiction in the discipline of science communication
  2. reflect on the social implications of science-based fiction including for their own lives
  3. demonstrate the significance of fictional images of scientists for access and equity in science work and study
  4. work effectively with others as part of a group
  5. work independently through discovery-based learning
  6. use social science research methods such as content analysis, focus groups and questionnaires to investigate public perceptions of science
  7. access, organise and present material explaining the ways in which science-based fiction has been found to influence public perceptions of science
  8. critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of current research methods for investigating fiction's influence on public attitudes, knowledge and beliefs

Indicative Assessment

1. Learning journal critically reflecting on readings (15%; LO 1,2,3,7,8)
2. Written contribution to online wiki (10%; LO 1,3,6,7)
3. Public perceptions research project literature review and content analysis (25% LO 1,3,5,7)
4. Public perceptions research project methods proposal (25%; LO 2,4,5,6,8)
5. Public perceptions research project final report (25% LO 4,5,6,7,8)

 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

This course requires students to attend a week intensive course (35 hrs) in person. The other coursework requirements can be completed online. The intensive week is held in the June/July teaching break each year. There may be some short online tutorials or pre-reading before the intensive week, and students will complete the assessment in the weeks or months after the intensive week. See http://cpas.anu.edu.au/study/short-courses/anu-scom-intensive-course-schedule for exact dates.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 24 units of any courses, or have permission from the convenor. Incompatible with SCOM6003.

Prescribed Texts

Gilbert J.K. & Stocklmayer S. (eds.) (2013) Communication and Engagement with Science and Technology: Issues and Dilemmas. A reader in science communication. New York and London: Routledge.
Other readings provided online.

Assumed Knowledge

SCOM1001 and SCOM1002

Majors

Minors

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
5732 18 Jun 2018 22 Jun 2018 29 Jun 2018 20 Jul 2018 In Person

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