• 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
    • Sujatha Raman
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Winter Session 2020
    See Future Offerings

All activities that form part of this course will be delivered remotely in Sem 2 2020.

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

Upon successful completion, 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 Assessment

  1. Reflective journal - 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 (20) [LO 1,2]
  2. Comparative essay - 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 (25) [LO 2,4]
  3. Critical essay - 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 (35) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Online forums - 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 (20) [LO 1,2,4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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 expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the session including:

  • Intensive face-to face component over 5 days Monday-Friday including lectures plus seminars.
  • Approximately 95 hours of self-study which will include complementary readings, assignments and maintaining a reflective journal as part of the course.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

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 SCOM6029.

Prescribed Texts

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

Preliminary Reading

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 Knowledge

SCOM1001 and SCOM1002




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:
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
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6691 14 Sep 2020 15 Sep 2020 25 Sep 2020 20 Oct 2020 In Person View

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