- Code SCOM6032
- 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
- Academic career PGRD
- Lindy Orthia
- Mode of delivery Online or In Person
- Co-taught Course
First Semester 2020
See Future Offerings
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.
This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Research diverse science communication-type activities through time, place and culture.
- Analyse and critically reflect upon competing big picture histories of science and science communication.
- Investigate and critically analyse material links between science communication-type activities and institutionalised science in the world today.
- Develop a personal philosophy of professional practice in science communication, encompassing a big picture view of its institutions, ideologies and practices.
- Online quizzes (best 5 of 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 1,2,4]
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.
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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. All required readings will be linked through the course Wattle site.
A general understanding of science communication, such as that offered through SCOM8014, is recommended.
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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