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Why is it essential scientists learn to communicate effectively about science and technology to a variety of audiences? What makes for engaging communication when it comes to science and technology? How does the style of communication need to change for different audiences? What types of media can be used with greatest effect for each communication task? What are the nuts and bolts of good science writing? What are the characteristics of effective public speaking?
Weekly seminars will consider the important role science and technology plays in twenty-first century society and explore why it is vital scientists learn to articulate their ideas to a variety of audiences in an effective and engaging manner. Other topics include giving talks about science to non-scientists, writing press releases, communicating about climate change, communicating with politicians, science performance and how science is reported in the media. We will also focus on effective communication in the context of employability: writing a CV, job application and cover letter, interview skills, using LinkedIn and other social media and what communication skills employers are looking for in science graduates.
Students will develop skills in evaluating examples of science and technology communication to identify those that are most effective and engaging. Students will also be given multiple opportunities to receive feedback and improve their own written and oral communication skills.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should be able to:
- articulate the range of purposes of communicating about science and technology;
- identify the common features of effective communication in written, oral and other forms of communication;
- understand the nature of different audiences for science and technology information;
- communicate science and/or technology effectively to different audiences, using a variety of different techniques and media; and
- provide constructive feedback to other students on their communication skills (both written and oral).
On the completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- communicate effectively in both written and oral forms;
- demonstrate awareness of and ability to use appropriate communication technology;
- provide constructive feedback on other students’ work; and
- reflect on their own communication skills.
Last updated: 20 February 2024