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Courses - Spring 2024
College Park Scholars-Science, Technology and Society
Open Seats as of
02/20/2024 at 10:30 PM
The Future of Communicating Science
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Restriction: Must be in the College Park Scholars Science, Technology or Society program or have permission of the program.
How can scientists communicate their work effectively? The field of science communication ventures that the answer is not simply a matter of improving capacity (e.g., because people lack scientific information, scientists lack communication skills, or both). Rather, it calls for sustained collaboration and empathy between laypersons and experts. In this hands-on, experiential course, we use a model of cultural competency to put forth solutions to bridge the expert-lay divide. We investigate typical venues in which science is communicated (museums, YouTube videos, federal agency websites, and much much more) and study best practices for communication. Then we explore emerging venues that support sustained contact between so-called "lay citizens" and scientific or technical experts (dance/improv techniques, ethnographic methods and citizen science). Students learn to use cross-cultural perspectives as a basis to pilot and test ways of strengthening relationships and improving communication.