Session Type

Presentation

Start Date

6-7-2011 10:15 AM

Keywords

science, communication, public, undergrad, curriculum

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Communication is fundamental at all levels of scientific endeavors, not least of which is when scientists must speak or write about their field to the general public. While this should be considered part of a scientist's responsibility in general (in order to justify and promote public funding of science, influence policymaking decisions and create informed citizens in matters of science), it is particularly important to the alumni of our undergraduate Biology programs. Despite the fact that the majority of our Biology undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa do not pursue Graduate studies after finishing their degrees, traditional undergraduate programs in Biology have not offered much training in the communication of science to non-scientist audiences. It is therefore essential that our B.Sc. alumni are imparted with skills in the popularization of science, such as the ability to explain complex concepts without relying on technical terminology, as well as to be able to generalize from very specific scientific notions. I will present how I have integrated a learning of science communication at all levels of the undergraduate experience at uOttawa, from a rethinking of the examination process and in-class presentations, to an Honour's thesis in the Public Communication of Science.


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Jul 6th, 10:15 AM

The Communication of Science as an Integral Component to the Undergraduate Experience

Communication is fundamental at all levels of scientific endeavors, not least of which is when scientists must speak or write about their field to the general public. While this should be considered part of a scientist's responsibility in general (in order to justify and promote public funding of science, influence policymaking decisions and create informed citizens in matters of science), it is particularly important to the alumni of our undergraduate Biology programs. Despite the fact that the majority of our Biology undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa do not pursue Graduate studies after finishing their degrees, traditional undergraduate programs in Biology have not offered much training in the communication of science to non-scientist audiences. It is therefore essential that our B.Sc. alumni are imparted with skills in the popularization of science, such as the ability to explain complex concepts without relying on technical terminology, as well as to be able to generalize from very specific scientific notions. I will present how I have integrated a learning of science communication at all levels of the undergraduate experience at uOttawa, from a rethinking of the examination process and in-class presentations, to an Honour's thesis in the Public Communication of Science.