- Code SCOM6003
- 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, Science Communication
All activities that form part of this course will be delivered remotely in Sem 2 2020.
How has Brave New World shaped the human cloning debate? Why did forensic science enrolments boom simultaneously with the popularity of CSI and Silent Witness? How is Doctor Who useful for engaging high school students in science learning? To what extent did Frankenstein establish a negative image of scientists? Why is theatre an effective HIV/AIDS education tool in South Africa and not in Australia? What role did Star Trek's Lt Uhura play in recruiting astronauts to the NASA space program? How might The Day After Tomorrow impact the public understanding of climate change?
This course provides an introduction to the impact of fictional representations of science and scientists on public perceptions of science. It introduces research, theory and methods from this growing area of science communication as applied to fictional works including films, television programs, plays, novels, short stories and comics. Students are encouraged to share their own experiences of science-based fiction and to pursue their areas of interest through assessment. The major piece of assessment is a research project testing students' hypotheses about the impact that a work of fiction might have on public perceptions of science. The research project will be completed individually, but the research ideas will be developed as a team with a view to obtaining publishable results.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon satisfactorily meeting the course requirements, students will be able to:
1. describe, question and critique the historical developments in the ways that fiction has been discussed by science communication scholars
2. distinguish between different fictional representations of science and scientists in terms of their significance for the science-society relationship
3. apply theory and research about science in popular fiction to science communication practice
4. think reflexively about the study and application of science in popular fiction and the student's place within it
5. manage a public science communication project that involves both collaboration and independent learning
6. critique and correct others’ public science communication efforts in a professional and encouraging manner
7. conduct science communication research using social science research methods such as content analysis, focus groups and questionnaires
1.Reflective folio critically reflecting on the relevance of the course readings and assessment for professional practice in science communication (20%; LO 1,2,3,4,6)
2. Management and curation of, and contributions to, an online Wiki that all students co-author (20% LO 1,2,3,5,6)
3. Fiction in the science classroom or science centre research project part 1: literature review, content analysis, lesson plan/exhibit design and evaluation methods proposal (40% LO 1,2,3,7)
4. Fiction in the science classroom or science centre research project part 2: evaluation results report (20% LO 1,3,4,7)
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.
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This course requires students to attend a week intensive course (35 hrs) in person. The other coursework requirements can be completed online. The intensive week is held in the June/July teaching break each year. There may be some short online tutorials or pre-reading before the intensive week, and students will complete the assessment in the weeks or months after the intensive week. See http://cpas.anu.edu.au/study/short-courses/anu-scom-intensive-course-schedule for exact dates.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsKrueger RA and Casey MA. (2014) Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. UK: Sage (5th edition).
Recommended text: Gilbert J.K. & Stocklmayer S. (eds.) (2013) Communication and Engagement with Science and Technology: Issues and Dilemmas. A reader in science communication. New York and London: Routledge.
Other readings provided online.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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