• 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 Postgraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Sean Perera
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course SCOM3029
  • Offered in Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

This course will prepare you to communicate science across cultural boundaries. It will increase your understanding about issues and effective strategies of communicating science and technology with culturally diverse audiences. You will explore how values, beliefs and expectations differentiate science from other knowledge systems, and examine the Eurocentric privileging of modern science and its communication, which are integral parts of Western culture. In doing so, you will look closely at communities that are alienated from science, with particular reference to current science communication research.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Critically reflect upon and analyse contemporary practices used to communicate science with culturally diverse groups of audiences;
2. Describe, evaluate and respond to the problems and issues of culture in the broader discourses of public awareness of science;
3. With reference to research literature, deconstruct and propose research-based, culturally appropriate alternatives to societal beliefs and attitudes that underpin the communication of scientific and technological advancements; and
4. Construct effective and appropriate strategies for communicating science and technology issues with culturally diverse audiences.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment for the course will be continuous throughout the semester and will include the following assessment tasks:
1. Reflective journal (20%) - an on-going description and critical self-analysis, with reference to the readings provided in the course, of each student's perspectives of modern scientific culture and perceived instances of communication conflict (Learning Outcomes 1 & 2).
2. Comparative essay (25%) - 2000-word, referenced, written work that evaluates constructively research outcomes of two cross-cultural science communication endeavours of the student's choice (Learning Outcomes 2 & 4).
3. Critical essay (35%) - 3500-word, referenced, written work that deconstructs a specific element of cross-cultural science communication by analysing and critiquing a popular cultural belief, value or expectation in a community identified by the student (Learning Outcomes 1, 2 & 3).
4. Online forums (20%) - contributions to and curatorship of on-line discussion forums derived from current science communication research to develop strategies to address contemporary problems and issues of cross-cultural science communication (Learning Outcomes 1, 2 & 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.


The weekly workload for the course will be two hours of face-to-face contact teaching and two hours of online tutorials (total of four hours). In addition, students will be expected to engage in up to six hours of independent study time weekly. This will include complementary readings, assignments and maintaining a reflective journal as part of the course.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have studied or studying SCOM3029.

Prescribed Texts

Harding, S. (Ed.) (2011). The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader. London: Duke University Press.

Indicative Reading List

Students will be provided complementary readings during the course, including the following sources:
Bauer, M.W., Shukla, R. & Allum, N. (Eds.) (2012). The Culture of Science. London: Routledge.
Cunningham, L.S. & Reich, J.J. (Eds.) (2010). Readings for Culture and Values. Boston MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Jacob, M.C. (1988). The cultural meaning of the Scientific Revolution. NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
Marks, R.B. (2007). The Origins of the Modern World. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.
Gilbert, J.K. & Stocklmayer, S.M. (eds.) (2012). Communication and engagement with science and technology: Issues and dilemmas. London: Routledge.
Wierzbicka, A. (2013). Imprisoned in English: The Hazards of English as a Default Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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.

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

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
8703 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person

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