- Total units 48 Units
- Areas of interest Science Communication
- Major code SCOM-MAJ
- Academic career Undergraduate
The Science Communication major aims to complement studies in the traditional science disciplines and to provide a solid foundation for professional science communication careers.
The compulsory courses provide training in the presentation and writing of science for diverse audiences, analysis of science and technology issues in the context of the wider community, and research methods for investigating public perceptions of science.
This major is a valuable adjunct for students wishing to enter scientific careers, because it enhances the communication skills and social awareness that are increasingly desired by science employers. These skills will strengthen your ability to:
- Successfully apply for funding for your research,
- communicate aspects of your research with members of the public and your peers,
- research and understand public attitudes to your science, particularly in the context of ethical controversy and risk,
- communicate and apply your scientific knowledge to practical situations in socially appropriate ways,
- speak confidently at science conferences,
- talk to the media about your work,and
- advise governments on science policy issues such as technological development, healthy living and environmental sustainability.
This major is also an excellent foundation for students interested in pursuing careers as professional science communicators. If you have ever dreamt of:
- making science exhibits for Questacon,
- presenting television or radio shows about science,
- becoming a science journalist,
- rethinking the way science is taught in schools,
- researching the ways that movies, novels and comics have shaped public attitudes to science, or
- campaigning for change on science-related issues such as climate change, nuclear power and animal ethics,
then this major is for you.
Students who complete the Science Communication major will be able to:
- Recognise that ‘science’ has many meanings in society, including: bodies of knowledge, distinct sets of practices and methods, political and economic institutions, and, moreover, a human endeavour shaped by culture and context.
- Communicate science in accessible and appropriate ways with diverse communication partners.
- Use a range of means, media, and technologies to communicate science.
- Develop strategies to communicate complex and/or controversial science with stakeholders and different sectors of the public.
- Evaluate and critique the techniques and models used to communicate science.
- Appraise the interaction of interests, contexts and people shaping science as process, practice, discourse and industry in the modern world.
- Investigate diverse public attitudes to science and perceptions of science and the influences on these.
- Value the promotion of science communication to build democratic and ethical involvement in science discussions and decision-making.
- Comprehend shifts in the disciplinary development of science communication and how these can inform current science communication practice.
- Critically assess and use scientific and social science primary and secondary sources.
- Undertake science communication research drawing on a range of methods such as interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and content analyses.
- Work collaboratively and independently on science communication research projects and activities.
- Model the inquiry and research values of science in their professional conduct.
- Cultivate a professional communication profile to advance their career.
Advice to Students
Students interested in taking additional, non-SCOM-coded courses to further expand their knowledge and skills with science courses relevant to science communication are advised to consider:
ENVS1003 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research
ENVS3007 Participatory Resource Management: Working with Communities and Stakeholders
ENVS3028 Environmental Policy
BIOL3191 Biology, Society and Ethics
This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:
A minimum of 36 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:
|SCOM1001||Science Communication 1: Science and Public Awareness||6|
|SCOM1002||Science Communication 2: Scientific Evidence and Social Change||6|
|SCOM2001||Practical Skills for Communicating Science||6|
|SCOM2003||Science in Popular Fiction||6|
|SCOM3001||Science, Risk and Ethics||6|
|SCOM3002||Science in the Media||6|
|SCOM3012||Science Communication and the Web||6|
|SCOM3027||Science and Public Policy||6|
|SCOM3029||Cross Cultural Perspectives in Science Communication||6|
|SCOM3030||Science Dialogue Theory and Practice||6|
|SCOM3004||Science Communication Internship||6|
A maximum of 12 units may come from completion of courses from the following list:
|SCOM3003||Science Communication Research Project||6-12|