• 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
  • Course convener
    • Sujatha Raman
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Winter Session 2022
    See Future Offerings

This course will prepare you to communicate science across cultural boundaries. It will increase your understanding about issues and effective strategies of communicating science and technology with culturally diverse audiences. You will explore how values, beliefs and expectations differentiate science from other knowledge systems, and examine the Eurocentric privileging of modern science and its communication, which are integral parts of Western culture. In doing so, you will look closely at communities that are alienated from science, with particular reference to current science communication research.

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically reflect upon and analyse contemporary practices used to communicate science with culturally diverse groups of audiences;
  2. Describe, evaluate and respond to the problems and issues of culture in the broader discourses of public awareness of science;
  3. With reference to research literature, deconstruct and propose research-based, culturally appropriate alternatives to societal beliefs and attitudes that underpin the communication of scientific and technological advancements; and
  4. Construct effective and appropriate strategies for communicating science and technology issues with culturally diverse audiences.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Reflective journal - an on-going description and critical self-analysis, with reference to the readings provided in the course, of each student's perspectives of modern scientific culture and perceived instances of communication conflict (20) [LO 1,2]
  2. Comparative essay - 2000-word, referenced, written work that evaluates constructively research outcomes of two cross-cultural science communication endeavours of the student's choice (25) [LO 2,4]
  3. Critical essay - 3500-word, referenced, written work that deconstructs a specific element of cross-cultural science communication by analysing and critiquing a popular cultural belief, value or expectation in a community identified by the student (35) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Online forums - contributions to and curatorship of on-line discussion forums derived from current science communication research to develop strategies to address contemporary problems and issues of cross-cultural science communication (20) [LO 1,2,4]

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.


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

  • Intensive face-to face component over 5 days Monday-Friday including lectures plus seminars. Students participating online will be able to join activities remotely via Zoom or Skype.
  • Approximately 95 hours of self-study which will include complementary readings, assignments and maintaining a reflective journal as part of the course.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have studied or studying SCOM3029.

Prescribed Texts

Harding, S. (Ed.) (2011). The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader. London: Duke University Press.

Preliminary Reading

Students will be provided complementary readings during the course, including the following sources:
Bauer, M.W., Shukla, R. & Allum, N. (Eds.) (2012). The Culture of Science. London: Routledge.
Cunningham, L.S. & Reich, J.J. (Eds.) (2010). Readings for Culture and Values. Boston MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Jacob, M.C. (1988). The cultural meaning of the Scientific Revolution. NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
Marks, R.B. (2007). The Origins of the Modern World. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.
Gilbert, J.K. & Stocklmayer, S.M. (eds.) (2012). Communication and engagement with science and technology: Issues and dilemmas. London: Routledge.
Wierzbicka, A. (2013). Imprisoned in English: The Hazards of English as a Default Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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:
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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $4200
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4564 22 Aug 2022 22 Aug 2022 16 Sep 2022 05 Dec 2022 In Person View
4565 22 Aug 2022 22 Aug 2022 16 Sep 2022 05 Dec 2022 Online View

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