- Code SCOM3029
- Unit Value 6 units
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.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Reflect critically upon contemporary practices used to communicate science with culturally diverse groups of audiences;
2. Research and describe the problems and issues of culture in the broader discourses of public awareness of science;
3. Identify and analyse popular cultural beliefs and attitudes that underpin the communication of scientific and technological advancements; and
4. Propose effective and appropriate approaches to communicating science and technology issues to culturally diverse audiences.
Indicative AssessmentAssessment for the course will be continuous throughout the semester and will include the following assessment tasks:
1. Reflective journal (20%) - an on-going description, 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%) - 1500-word, referenced, written work that describes and examines research outcomes of two cross-cultural science communication endeavours from a list provided by the convenor (Learning Outcomes 2 & 4).
3. Critical essay (35%) - 2000-word, referenced, written work that critically reviews a popular cultural belief, value or expectation, which underpins communication of scientific and technological advancements, or lack thereof, in a community identified by the student (Learning Outcomes 1, 2 & 3).
4. Online forums (20%) - contributions to on-line discussion forums derived from current science communication research to discuss ways 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.
Workload2 x 2 hour studio classes per week, comprising lecture and tute material, plus approximately 6 hours of study time each week
Requisite and Incompatibility
Students will be provided complementary readings during the course, including relevant sections from 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.
Assumed KnowledgeSCOM1001 and SCOM1002
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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