Module Information

Module Identifier
ED33020
Module Title
Communicating Science: the Scientists, the Media and the Public
Academic Year
2017/2018
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Mary Healy (Senior Lecturer - Roehampton University)
  • Dr Martin Needham (Associate Head of Department - Manchester Metropolitan University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Workshop 1 x 2 Hour Workshop
Lecture 10 x 2 Hour Lectures
Field Trip 1 x 8 Hour Field Trip
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2500 word assignment  50%
Semester Assessment Poster  40%
Semester Exam 6 Hours   Verbal defense of poster  10%
Supplementary Assessment 2500 word assignment  50%
Supplementary Assessment Poster  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Verbal defence of poster  Departmentally held exam  10%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate an ability to communicate scientific ideas effectively to the public.

Critically evaluate different techniques for presenting science to the public.

Demonstrate an ability to be able to write and speak persuasively.

Identify and select appropriate material for a poster presentation for science in a public forum.

Content

Session 1- Public confidence in science and the need for science literacy
Session 2- Science museums and discovery centres
Session 3- Communicating science in Education
Session 4- Empowering children in Science communication
Session 5- Broadcast Media - 'factual' science programming on TV and radio
Session 6- Poster assignment support workshop
Session 7- Poster assignment Computer Workshop
Session 8-Science Fiction as a method of science communication
Session 9- Science writing
Session 10- Science Communication and Social Media
Reading List: http://aspire.aber.ac.uk/lists/986A9B92-78C6-F1D5-85E9-E84CA97ABB59

Aims


Communicating science to a lay audience can be a challenging activity. In the past scientists have encountered problems with presenting their research to a wider audience - think of the fiasco with cold fusion. In this module, we address some of the basic issues associated with presenting science to the public and consider the value of a range of media - the press, broadcast media, popular science writing, science fiction, museums and discovery centres. In addition, participants develop their own writtten, oral and visual communication skills through a series of workshops, culminating in a public exhibition of posters produced during the module.

Prior to the first assignment, there is a trip to a science museum. There will be a charge for this trip (note: attendance on trip is compulsory, please email lecturer for further details.)
There may be a cost incurred in producing the poster for the second assessment.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication This is the main purpose of the module. Group discussions and oral contributions to workshops form an integral part of the module. Students will be encouraged to value the opinions of others. Written contributions are assessed and feedback from the tutor and other students will allow skill development. The production of a poster is intended to develop visual communication, but there will also be a verbal defense of this piece of work.
Improving own Learning and Performance The majority course work involves independent activity- tutor feedback will help students. Learners will be encouraged to learn from the work of others, particularly during workshops, the poster sessions and the museum visit.
Information Technology Students are expected to undertake research on the internet and to present word-processed written work. In addition, the production of posters is likely to require the use of IT facilities.
Personal Development and Career planning As a result of feedback from the poster sessions.
Problem solving Through group activities and discussions in workshops. Practical problems will also have to be addressed during the production of posters.
Research skills Through preparation for workshops, poster presentations and other course work.
Subject Specific Skills Poster production and verbal defense.
Team work Through group discussions in workshops and during the museum visit.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6