PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Providing a knowledge base for a science communication curriculum

Frans van Dam  

What would be the perfect book for an introductory masters course on science communication? What are the relevant chapters, how should theory and practice be balanced, and which related disciplines must be included? Which audience(s) should science communication address? These are the type of questions that one encounters while designing a full science communication curriculum, as well as an individual masters course. It is a complicated task to decide on the size and content of the knowledge base necessary for students to develop into the science communication professionals of the future. In this interactive session, you will have the opportunity to explore what such a science communication knowledge base ideally should entail for your own national context. We will start with the example of an attempt at constructing a national curriculum. The recently published book 'Science communication, a knowledge base' (2014, for bachelors and masters, in the Dutch language, translated in English) represents a Dutch, academic curriculum for science communication. By way of contrast, a New Zealand curriculum will be presented as well. Participants will be stimulated to share their vision regarding a science communication curriculum and an inventory will be made of possible overlaps and differences. By comparing curricula (in different national contexts), lecturers in science communication can further build and improve their teaching. During the session, Anne Dijkstra, Liesbeth de Bakker and Lloyd Spencer Davis will give short presentations. At the venue, an English language synopsis of the (Dutch) book will be available. Contributors: • Frans van Dam, Netherlands, chair • Anne Dijkstra, Netherlands: 'A Dutch curriculum in science communication' • Liesbeth de Bakker, Netherlands: Pedagogy for teaching science communication • Lloyd Spencer Davis, New Zealand: 'The science communication curriculum in New Zealand' • Examples of didactics by authors of 'Science communication, a knowledge base'.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.