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.
About this paper
|Communicating Science: an Introduction
|Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
|Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD )
|International Tuition Fees
|Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
- SCOM 209
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music, Science
- Teaching staff
To be confirmed
- 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.
- Short non-fiction story (1500 words) - 30% - creative biography of a scientist, centred on a scientific endeavour
- Short film - 30% - shooting and editing digital footage to create a short (90 second) film on a scientific concept of the student’s choice
- Final Exam - 40% - theory and practice of science communication, and the relationship between science and society, including current issues discussed in class and readings
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 strategise 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