• 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
    • Dr Brad Tucker
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Summer Session 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course has been adjusted for remote participation in Sem 1 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. On-campus activities will also be available.

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 there will be an option to develop the research ideas as a team with a view to obtaining publishable results.



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. explain the context and importance of fiction in the discipline of science communication;
  2. reflect on the social implications of science-based fiction including for their own lives;
  3. demonstrate the significance of fictional images of scientists for access and equity in science work and study;
  4. work effectively with others as part of a group;
  5. work independently through discovery-based learning;
  6. use social science research methods such as content analysis, focus groups and questionnaires to investigate public perceptions of science;
  7. access, organise and present material explaining the ways in which science-based fiction has been found to influence public perceptions of science;
  8. critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of current research methods for investigating fiction's influence on public attitudes, knowledge and beliefs.

Other Information

The intensive week in 2021 will be 18 - 22 January.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 3-minute small-group presentation on Monday, evaluating the role of science and fiction in the piece (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,7,8]
  2. 3-minute small-group presentation on Friday, evaluating the piece in light of the week (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,7,8]
  3. Research project proposal. This should include a literature review, content analysis of the piece(s), lesson plan/exhibit design/project plan, and evaluation methods (30) [LO 1,5,6,7,8]
  4. Public perceptions research project - carrying out the project and analyzing the results proposal (50) [LO 1,4,5,6,7,8]

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.

Workload

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

  • The face-to-face component will be delivered in intensive mode over one week, Monday - Friday 9am - 5 pm (total 35 hours). Students participating online will be able to join activities remotely via Zoom
  • Approximately 95 hours of self directed study will include pre-reading before the intensive week and assessments to be submitted after the intensive week.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 24 units of any courses, or have permission from the convenor. Incompatible with SCOM6003.

Prescribed Texts

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.

Assumed Knowledge

SCOM1001 and SCOM1002

Fees

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:
2
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.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1631 11 Jan 2021 17 Jan 2021 22 Jan 2021 19 Feb 2021 In Person N/A

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