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The Science of Science Communication course aims to teach science students how to effectively communicate across a range of audiences why science matters, how it works, and what the relevance of science is to the way we live our lives. Students will learn to do that effectively in a digital age where the content is easily accessed but the understanding of that information is harder to achieve. They will also learn how to measure the effectiveness of their communication of science. Understanding the art of evidence based science communication has become more important than ever before in a world where fake science news threatens our ability to communicate science effectively.

For those students going on to a higher degree in science, a basic requirement of being a successful scientist is to be able to effectively communicate. However, very few scientists have had any formal evidence-based science communication education. Fewer still have been taught how new emerging communication technologies can engage audiences with science or how to use emotion and be personable when communicating science. This course prepares students for a career in their chosen science discipline.

The objective of BEES6800 is to help students to gain confidence in clearly communicating science and why it matters across multiple peer and public audiences in multiple modes, and via multiple digital technologies and media – including social media.

The course is mostly online.

There are two face-to-face weeks for which there will be an online equivalent of at least lecture recordings for students unable to attend in person. One of these two weeks will be an experience in the Mars Lab education and research facility at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, and in which UNSW is a partner. The second will be a week of activities, including discussion and debate, on the issues of fake science news and miscommunication of science news.

Assessment will be through three connected online assignments that directly address course outcomes.These outcomes include understanding the nature and processes of science, being able to communicate science clearly with multiple audiences in multiple modes, understanding the best use of new and emerging technologies to communicate science, thinking critically and creatively, and knowing how to measure the effectiveness of science communication.

There is no final exam.

Students need 48 Units of Credit to take this science elective course. There is no assumed knowledge of science communication.

Students taking this course will be able to communicate effectively as scientists, and may find it useful if considering a career in science communication.


Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1, Term 3



Delivery Mode

Fully online

Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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