- Code SCOM3032
- Unit Value 6 units
- 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
Politicians, chief scientists and others are increasingly calling for scientists to communicate their work with the public, but how, where and when did this start? Can we draw connections between things like eighteenth century British amateur science and citizen science today, or nineteenth century French science popularisation and today's science journalism? Can we identify histories of science communication-type practices for knowledge systems across the world beyond Western science, such as Australian Indigenous ecological and astronomical knowledges, Chinese engineering techniques or Islamic world mathematical methods? And how important is communication to these scientific traditions? Is science communication an added extra in the world of science, or integral to its success and longevity? How can we map institutional relationships between science and the bodies that promote it, popularise it, and link it to political processes? Thinking globally, how was 'modern science' made, in all these ways?
This course applies historical and institutional approaches to science communication to explore the big picture view of how this discipline and its professional practices have developed across the world and through time. You will map the relationships between science and the science communication-type activities and organisations that have always surrounded and supported western science as an institutionalised pursuit - scientific societies, advocacy for science funding, science professionalisation measures, science popularisation efforts of different kinds, science museums and centres, and more. You will also look at communication practices in knowledge systems beyond the modern West to develop long term, cross-cultural histories of science communication. Course assessment emphasises reflection on the significance of this big picture for professional practice in science communication, as well as developing science communication research skills.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Map diverse science communication-type activities through time, place and culture.
- Describe competing big picture histories of science and science communication.
- Identify and describe material links between science communication-type activities and institutionalised science in the world today.
- Apply a big picture view of science communication institutions, ideologies and practices to reflective professional practice.
- Online quizzes (best 5 of approximately 8 count) (25) [LO 1,2,3]
- Historical research assignment (35) [LO 1,2,3]
- Visual presentation of big picture science communication history for a popular audience (10) [LO 1,2,4]
- Professional values reflective essay (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
In response to COVID-19, ANU has changed the mode of delivery for all classes in Semester 1 2020 to remote delivery.
Semester 1 Class Summary information (available under the Classes tab) on this publication is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available via Wattle and students should have been advised by the offering College. Find out more information on the University's response to COVID-19 here.
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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:
- Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 2 hour lectorial per week.
- Approximately 106 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.
To be determined.
Requisite and Incompatibility
There are no prescribed texts. Links to all required readings will be provided through the Wattle site.
Assumed KnowledgeSCOM1001 and SCOM1002 are recommended.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.