• 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

This course has been adjusted for remote participants however attendance at on-campus activities is preferable.

For the public to be able to make informed decisions about important scientific issues, they need to have access to accurate yet understandable information. The best vehicle for this is through the print and electronic media. However very few scientists are trained to communicate effectively with the media, which can make informing the public a difficult process.

This course examines the relationship between science and the media and the cultural differences that often make the relationship difficult. Topics to be covered include an analysis of science-media relations from both the scientists' and journalists' perspective; the style in which science is reported in the media; and how best to present science in the media. This is a skills-based course, the aim of which is to train science students in the production of material suitable for publication or broadcast in the popular media. Students will have opportunities to practice the skills of this course in ‘real life settings’ gaining valuable industry experience and contacts.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and apply the processes involved in getting an issue into the media
  2. Apply the basics of print media production
  3. Discuss, and where appropriate explain, current issues in journalism
  4. Differentiate the communication needs of various audiences
  5. Evaluate the suitability of topics for different media, and examine and select appropriate background material for a story

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assessment for the course will be continuous throughout the semester and involve preparation of material suitable for publication or broadcast. (null) [LO null]
  2. Ongoing analysis of material in the media (10) [LO 1,3,4]
  3. Consultancy project for industry partner (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Writing news article based on recently published scientific research (15) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  5. Event promotion* (25) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  6. Feature article* (25) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  7. Essay - how controversies in science play out in the media* (25) [LO 3,4,5]
  8. * Optional assessment items; students choose 1 of 3. (null) [LO null]

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 semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 3 hour workshop each week.
  • Approximately 94 hours of self-study which will include preparation for seminar/workshops and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 48 units of undergraduate courses. Incompatible with SCOM3002 and SCOM6016.

Prescribed Texts

N/A

Assumed Knowledge

SCOM1001 and SCOM1002

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3187 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person N/A

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