Session Type

Workshop

Room

P&A Rm 106

Start Date

9-7-2015 12:00 AM

Keywords

Science communication, pedagogy, undergraduate, curriculum, science and society, public understanding of science

Primary Threads

Curriculum

Abstract

The role of science in society is ever increasing, whether in the context of public health, the environment or technology. However, the complexity of the issues sometimes render them inaccessible for most members of the general public, thus making the role of science communicators ever more important in order to generate informed citizenry on issues of a scientific nature. In the undergraduate curriculum of most university science programs, there is a strong emphasis on the development of the highly technical and specialized science communication skills that are relevant to those that conduct science. However, the importance of public-oriented communication skills for science students is generally downplayed, although it is essential to the promotion of science literacy in society. This lack of training in communicating science to non-specialists has made it increasingly difficult for graduates of science degrees to undertake the task of informing the general public on matters of science. During this workshop, I will elaborate on the current context of science in society, the challenges faced by scientists when communicating to non-scientists, illustrate the fundamental differences between science communication to specialist and non-specialist audiences, as well as to illustrate how university professors can integrate elements of the public communication of science into all levels of the curriculum for undergraduate students’ education.

Elements of Engagement

Not sure exactly what is expected information in this box:

I will present the current state of science in society and the challenges for scientists in this context, discuss the traditional curriculum that develops science communication skills for undergraduate students of science, illustrate the pitfalls of specialized communication strategies towards non-specialists audiences, describe the modes and mechanisms of adapting specialized and technical communication to non-specialist audiences, explain and illustrate the notions of framing information as an adaptation to communicating to various different audience types and I will describe modifications to existing curriculum to include pedagogical aspects of teaching and evaluating skills related to the public communication of science, as well as a description of a new course created to specifically address all of the above in the Faculty of Science at uOttawa (SCI3100: The Public Communication of Science).


Share

COinS
 
Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

The Public Communication of Science as an Integral Component to the Undergraduate Curriculum of Science Students

P&A Rm 106

The role of science in society is ever increasing, whether in the context of public health, the environment or technology. However, the complexity of the issues sometimes render them inaccessible for most members of the general public, thus making the role of science communicators ever more important in order to generate informed citizenry on issues of a scientific nature. In the undergraduate curriculum of most university science programs, there is a strong emphasis on the development of the highly technical and specialized science communication skills that are relevant to those that conduct science. However, the importance of public-oriented communication skills for science students is generally downplayed, although it is essential to the promotion of science literacy in society. This lack of training in communicating science to non-specialists has made it increasingly difficult for graduates of science degrees to undertake the task of informing the general public on matters of science. During this workshop, I will elaborate on the current context of science in society, the challenges faced by scientists when communicating to non-scientists, illustrate the fundamental differences between science communication to specialist and non-specialist audiences, as well as to illustrate how university professors can integrate elements of the public communication of science into all levels of the curriculum for undergraduate students’ education.