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Science Communication and Society Fundamentals

Vak 2016-2017

Introduction

Science Communication and Society (SCS) Fundamentals is a 13-week full-time course for science master students. The course prepares students for internships/career in communication about science and health, for example, as a science or health communicator, a science policymaker, a public relations officer, a health officer, an educator or for a career as a scientist with a communicating mind-set.

Who can join this course?

The course is open to all MSc students from the Faculty of Science and to MSc students in the Biomedical Sciences program of LUMC. Other students who are interested should contact their own educational board for permission.

Course objectives

After completion of this course students:

  • will have a general overview of the field of science communication
  • will have developed relevant theoretical knowledge about the underlying theories of science communication (communication models, learning theories, visual communication theory)
  • will have developed relevant skills for communicating science, such as popular science writing, developing visual science communication materials and developing science communication products.
  • will be able to plan science communication research

Course content

The course provides a mix of lectures, in-class activities, individual assignments, group assignments, exams, within 6 different sections:

  • Science journalism (taught separately in Dutch and English)
  • Visual science communication
  • Science communication theories and methods
  • Informal science education
  • Science with/for Society
  • Final project

Note: the Science Journalism section (English) is open as an elective course 4603SCSSJT (3 EC) to all MSc students from the Faculty of Science and to MSc students in the Biomedical Sciences program of LUMC.

Teaching method and participation

The course uses a mix of lectures, discussions, in-class activities, individual assignments, group assignments, and exams. Each section is taught by a different teacher on a designated day of the week (e.g. all Thursdays are science journalism) for the first 10 weeks. Each section is assessed through practical assignments and/or an exam. In the last three weeks of the course, students work in groups on a final project of their choice. Attendance of the classes is mandatory.

Course schedule

This is a full time course, 17 EC in 13 weeks, September 5 – December 2. Most classes are scheduled in the mornings (except for Tuesday afternoon), leaving the afternoons for self-study and working on assignments.

Assessment

In order to pass the course, students need to pass each of the six sections. The final grade is a weighted average of the sections. Students are allowed to retake sections.

Literature

Mandatory literature:

  • Jos van den Broek, Willem Koetsenruijter, Jaap de Jong en Laetitia Smit (2012). Visual Language – Perspectives for both Makers and Users. Den Haag: Eleven Publishers.
  • For Dutch students (English students will get translated extracts): Henk Asbreuk en Addie de Moor (2013). Basisboek Journalistiek schrijven. Tweede editie. Groningen: Wolters Noordhoff.
  • Other readings to be announced

Blackboard

There is a blackboard module for the entire course. Students who have applied for the course will receive a registration code for the blackboard module. Lecture notes, assignments, reading material, and important announcements can be found there.

Application

Application forms can be requested through the SCS department (infoscs@biology.leidenuniv.nl). Please apply as soon as you have decided to enroll in this course, so we have an idea of the number of students.
The class number for enrollment in uSis will become available here.

Coordinator

Dr. Anne Land (program coordinator), a.m.land@biology.leidenuniv.nl.

Organization

More information about the SCS program can be found at our website