• 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 UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Merryn Bryant
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

For the public to be able to make informed decisions about important scientific issues, they need to have access to accurate yet understandable information. The best vehicle for this is through the print and electronic media. However very few scientists are trained to communicate effectively with the media, which can make informing the public a difficult process.

This course examines the relationship between science and the media and the cultural differences that often make the relationship difficult. Topics to be covered include an analysis of science-media relations from both the scientists' and journalists' perspective; the style in which science is reported in the media; and how best to present science in the media. This is a skills-based course, the aim of which is to train science students in the production of material suitable for publication or broadcast in the popular media. Students will have opportunities to practice the skills of this course in ‘real life settings’ gaining valuable industry experience and contacts.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

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

  1. Identify and apply the processes involved in getting an issue into the media
  2. Apply the basics of print media production
  3. Discuss current issues in journalism
  4. Explain statistical pitfalls in reporting
  5. Differentiate the communication needs of various audiences
  6. Evaluate the suitability of topics for different media, and examine and select appropriate background material for a story
  7. Develop a press release
  8. Create an article with structure suitable for a newspaper or magazine

Indicative Assessment

Assessment for the course will be continuous throughout the semester and involve preparation of material suitable for publication or broadcast.

  • Ongoing analysis of material in the media (10% - LO1, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Consultancy project for industry partner (50% - LO1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • Writing news articles based on recently published scientific research (20%* - LO1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8)
  • Event promotion (20%* - LO1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8)
  • Essay - how controversies in science play out in the media (20%* - LO3, 4, 5, 6)

* Optional assessment items; students choose 2 of 3.

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

One three hour workshop per week and one x one hour tutorial per fortnight

Requisite and Incompatibility

SCOM 2001

Assumed Knowledge

SCOM1001

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. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution 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
1994-2003 $1650
2004 $1926
2005 $2298
2006 $2520
2007 $2520
2008 $2916
2009 $2916
2010 $2916
2011 $2946
2012 $2946
2013 $2946
2014 $2946
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3390
2004 $3450
2005 $3450
2006 $3618
2007 $3618
2008 $3618
2009 $3618
2010 $3750
2011 $3756
2012 $3756
2013 $3756
2014 $3762
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7420 21 Jul 2014 01 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 30 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions