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SCOM409 Introduction to Science Communication

A seminar-based introduction to models of science communication, theories of what science is, audiences and publics for science communication and how to communicate widely and effectively.

In this paper, you will cover many topics currently driving science communication as both a discipline and a practice. The focus will be on fundamental aspects of communication and how these interact in both practical and research settings. You will learn about models of science communication, theories of what science is, how this differs between people, and how to communicate science widely and effectively .

Paper title Introduction to Science Communication
Paper code SCOM409
Subject Science Communication
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,442.12
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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SCOM 439
Normally available only to postgraduate students.

Dr Fabien Medvecky

Teaching staff

Dr Fabien Medvecky

Paper Structure
The course structure will enable you to improve your skills in writing, visualisation, oral presentation and both critical and creative thinking. You'll get the opportunity to explore why some media formats work better than others and about how to target your communication efforts strategically.

Most classes will include a tutorial or discussion of the readings, a lecture/seminar and an activity. The paper will meet for one session each week, to include lectures, debates, workshops and discussions as appropriate.
Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Course outline
The course outline will be supplied at the beginning of the semester.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will:

  • Have a solid understanding of current issues in science communication
  • Be familiar with notions of risk communication
  • Have a deep understanding of the concepts of public, audience and participation
  • Be able to strategise different communication techniques to suit requirements
  • Be competent in presenting critically engaging written and visual work
  • Be able to examine, deconstruct and communicate controversial topics and have improved oral communication skills

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 9-14, 16-22