• Offered by Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Science Communication
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Wendy Russell
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course SCOM6030
  • Offered in Spring Session 2018
    See Future Offerings
This course will provide a detailed exploration of the role of science dialogue in relation to contemporary science debates and science and technology governance. As well as providing a theoretical understanding informed by Science and Technology Studies, this course will provide you with the skills to plan, design and run science dialogue. It will also give you opportunities to learn and practice skills needed to participate in and facilitate dialogue. Assessment items will require students to plan and conduct a mini-dialogue.
 
Science dialogue refers to communication about science that brings all parties to greater understanding. The key feature is that science dialogue is bi-directional -  information and insights are gained on both 'sides'. In the case of dialogue between scientists or science communicators and members of the public, then, the public participants learn about the science and the scientists' aims and aspirations, and the scientists learn something from the public, about their concerns and aspirations and generally about the social context of the science, which informs their thinking, and potentially their decisions, about that science. Dialogue has a special place within science communication as a communication medium with particular aims that is increasingly being promoted as a best practice approach within government and community sectors.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. demonstrate a broad and coherent understanding of science dialogue, as defined above, in its contemporary context and understand the potential roles of science dialogue in science debates and in science and technology governance,
2. critically review science dialogue activities,
3. demonstrate knowledge of key elements of dialogue and the cognitive and creative skills to participate in and facilitate constructive dialogue.
4. plan, design, conduct and evaluate science dialogue activities and communicate findings clearly, coherently and independently.

Indicative Assessment

1. Report on a case study dialogue activity (15%) – a critical analysis of a case study activity based on criteria provided, using reports and articles (cases will be provided or may be selected by students). (LO 1,2)

2. In-class and online dialogue participation (15%) – this is not a simple participation mark. Specific online and face-to-face dialogues will be structured and moderated. Students will be required to develop and apply skills of participation and facilitation and to demonstrate an understanding of the key elements of dialogue. (LO 1,3)

3. Dialogue Plan (30%) – students will work independently to plan dialogue on a particular issue in two different settings, a medium-scale (30 participants) University-based dialogue and a small-scale “Kitchen Table Conversation”. (LO 1,4)

4. Dialogue and report (40%) – Students will conduct a Kitchen Table Conversation according to the established model. They will record the conversation by audio recording and will write a detailed report describing the dialogue process and results, evaluating the process and making recommendations for improvements. (LO 1,2,3,4)

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 December/January 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 18 units of 2000 level courses, or have permission from the convenor. Incompatible with SCOM6030.

Preliminary Reading

Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research & Tertiary Education (2012) Science and Technology Engagement Pathways. Available online:.
Chilvers, J. (2010) Sustainable participation? Mapping out and reflecting on the field of public dialogue on science and technology, Harwell: Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre
Powell, M.C. & Colin, M. (2008) Meaningful citizen engagement in science and technology: what would it really take? Science Communication 30 (1) 126-136
Sclove, R.E. (1995) “In every sense the experts”. Strong democracy and technology. In: Democracy and technology, The Guilford Press: New York

Indicative Reading List

Chilvers, J. (2012) Reflexive engagement? Actors, learning, and reflexivity in public dialogue on science and technology. Science Communication, 35 (3) 283-310
Hennen, L. (2012) Why do we still need participatory technology assessment? Poiesis & Praxis 9: 27-41
Jasanoff, S. (2012) Technologies of humility: citizen participation in governing science. In: Science and Public Reason, Routledge: New York
Joly, P.-B. & Rip A. (2007) A timely harvest. Nature 450, 8 Nov, p 174
Kyle, R. & Dodds, S. (2009) Avoiding empty rhetoric: engaging publics in debates about nanotechnologies. Science & Engineering Ethics 15: 81-96
Marks, N. (2013) Six ideal types of public engagement with science and technology: reflections on capital, legitimacy and models of democracy. International Journal of Deliberative Mechanisms in Science 2 (1) 33-61
PytlikZillig, L.M. (2011) Public engagement for informing science and technology policy: what do we know, what do we need to know, and how will we get there? Review of Policy Research, 28 (2) 197-217
Russell, A.W. (2013) Improving legitimacy in nanotechnology policy development through stakeholder and community engagement: forging new pathways, Review of Policy Research, 30 (5) 566-587
Wynne B. (2014) Further disorientation in the hall of mirrors. Public Understanding of Science, 23 (1) 60-70

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
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
9699 26 Nov 2018 TBA TBA 01 Feb 2019 In Person

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