• Offered by Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Science Communication
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies, Political Communication, Science, Science Communication
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr William Grant
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

The interface between science and political decision making is of fundamental importance to modern society. Yet while our techniques of scientific enquiry have allowed us to learn ever more about the world - and our collective ability to enact change has become ever more powerful - the relationship between scientific knowledge and political action has never been entirely smooth. Indeed, things may even be getting worse. This course traces the dynamics, contours and fractures of the interface between science and politics.
Topics covered include: uses of science in political decision making; differing attitudes to scientific advice and the values underpinning them; ways of countering hostility to science; the role of new technology in changing the dynamics of the relationship between science and politics. Case studies may include climate change, artificial intelligence, diversity in science, asteroid mining, recreational drugs, invasive species, genetically modified food.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Locate and critically assess literature relevant to political debate and policy formation from a wide variety of sources. 
  2. Drawing on a range of scientific and other sources, compose clear, persuasive and contextualised arguments for a range of audiences. 
  3. Understand and describe the key issues guiding the science / policy interaction.
  4. Engage experts in debate by questioning and critiquing their presentations. 

Indicative Assessment

  • 5 Opinion pieces drawing on relevant literature to address key science policy questions (5 x 15%, LO1, LO2, LO3)
  • Collaborative literature review (5% total, LO1)
  • Questions and discussions with experts (5%, LO4)
  • Reflective essay collating learning (15%, LO3)

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

2 hour weekly seminar, 2 hours online discussion forum, 6 hours study time per week

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed SCOM3027.

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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8962 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person N/A

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