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SCOM109 Communicating Science: an Introduction

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An introduction to science communication theory and practice, including non-fiction writing and filmmaking.

This paper aims to introduce students to the theory and practice of effective science communication, including the tools to be a creative and powerful communicator in the modern world. Students will gain an enhanced ability to communicate information, arguments and analyses effectively, through oral presentations, creative non-fiction writing, and through digital media. They will emerge with a diverse set of graduate attributes, including: global perspective; a strong interdisciplinary perspective; scholarship; knowledge of ethics in science communication; skills in critical thinking and information literacy; and the capability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.

SCOM109 is intended to nurture skills as science communication practitioners for students from a broad range of backgrounds. This practical-based paper will be offered in Semester 2, and is a requirement for the Minor in Science Communication, offered jointly by the Centre for Science Communication and the Department for Media, Film and Communication.

Paper title Communicating Science: an Introduction
Paper code SCOM109
Subject Science Communication
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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Restriction
SCOM 209
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Contact

Dr Cathy Cole

Teaching staff

Convenor: Dr Cathy Cole

Teaching Fellow: Steven Ting

Teaching Arrangements

The paper will be taught in weekly 3 x 1 hour sessions, with lectures and practical skills workshops. These will be arranged as a 1-hour lecture on a Monday, followed by a 2-hour session on a Friday that will be structured as a short lecture and a longer practical workshop. This will allow focused and regular opportunities to practice skills in class, receive feedback from staff, and seek guidance on any learning issues.

Assessment:

  1. Short non-fiction story (1500 words) - 30% - creative biography of a scientist, centred on a scientific endeavour.
  2. Short film - 30% - shooting and editing digital footage to create a short (90 second) film on a scientific concept of the student’s choice.
  3. Final Exam – 40% - theory and practice of science communication, and the relationship between science and society, including current issues discussed in class and readings.
Textbooks

None. List of academic literature will be provided as recommended course reading.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Students will emerge with a diverse set of graduate attributes, including: global perspective; a strong interdisciplinary perspective; scholarship; knowledge of ethics in science communication; skills in critical thinking and information literacy; and the capability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.

View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will:

On successful completion of this paper, students should:

  • Understand the relationship between science and society;
  • Be familiar with theoretical models of science communication, and key current trends;
  • Be able to strategize different science communication techniques as needed, fostering critical thinking and analysis;
  • Develop enhanced oral communication skills;
  • Develop enhanced skills in presenting engaging written science information;
  • Develop enhanced skills in presenting science in digital formats, including film.

^ Top of page

Timetable

Semester 2

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 10:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41

An introduction to science communication theory and practice, including non-fiction writing and filmmaking.

This paper aims to introduce students to the theory and practice of effective science communication, including the tools to be a creative and powerful communicator in the modern world. Students will gain an enhanced ability to communicate information, arguments and analyses effectively, through oral presentations, creative non-fiction writing, and through digital media. They will emerge with a diverse set of graduate attributes, including: global perspective; a strong interdisciplinary perspective; scholarship; knowledge of ethics in science communication; skills in critical thinking and information literacy; and the capability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.

SCOM 109 is intended to nurture skills as science communication practitioners for students from a broad range of backgrounds. This practical-based paper will be offered in Semester 2, and is a requirement for the Minor in Science Communication, offered jointly by the Centre for Science Communication and the Department for Media, Film and Communication.

Paper title Communicating Science: an Introduction
Paper code SCOM109
Subject Science Communication
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2022 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

Restriction
SCOM 209
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Contact

Dr Cathy Cole

Teaching staff

Convenor: Dr Cathy Cole

Teaching Fellow: Steven Ting

Teaching Arrangements

The paper will be taught in weekly 3 x 1 hour sessions, with lectures and practical skills workshops. These will be arranged as a 1-hour lecture on a Monday, followed by a 2-hour session on a Friday that will be structured as a short lecture and a longer practical workshop. This will allow focused and regular opportunities to practice skills in class, receive feedback from staff, and seek guidance on any learning issues.

Assessment:

  1. Short non-fiction story (1500 words) - 30% - creative biography of a scientist, centred on a scientific endeavour
  2. Short film - 30% - shooting and editing digital footage to create a short (90 second) film on a scientific concept of the student’s choice
  3. Final Exam - 40% - theory and practice of science communication, and the relationship between science and society, including current issues discussed in class and readings
Textbooks

None. List of academic literature will be provided as recommended course reading.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Students will emerge with a diverse set of graduate attributes, including: global perspective; a strong interdisciplinary perspective; scholarship; knowledge of ethics in science communication; skills in critical thinking and information literacy; and the capability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.

View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this paper, students should:

  • Understand the relationship between science and society
  • Be familiar with theoretical models of science communication, and key current trends
  • Be able to strategize different science communication techniques as needed, fostering critical thinking and analysis
  • Develop enhanced oral communication skills
  • Develop enhanced skills in presenting engaging written science information
  • Develop enhanced skills in presenting science in digital formats, including film

^ Top of page

Timetable

Semester 2

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Friday 10:00-11:50 37-40

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 10:00-11:50 28-34, 36, 41