At the University of Melbourne, we believe it is essential for scientists to learn how to share their ideas with a variety of audiences in an effective and engaging manner. These audiences may include scientists from other disciplines, school students, research funding agencies, media, government, industry and the public.
We offer three subjects to help science students develop the written and spoken communication skills they will need to be successful in their careers. These subjects focus on providing many opportunities for students to receive feedback and improve their own written and spoken communication skills.
MULT20011 Science Communication and Employability (Level 2 Breadth)
and SCIE90012 Science Communication (Graduate)
In both subjects, we discuss the important role science and technology plays in twenty-first century society and explore why it is vital that scientists learn to articulate their ideas effectively to non-scientists. Topics include giving talks, blogging, writing press releases, communicating about climate change, communicating with politicians, science performance, and how science is reported in the media.
In Science Communication & Employability, we also focus on effective communication in the context of employability: writing a CV or job application, interview skills, interpersonal communication and what communication skills employers are looking for in science graduates. Science Communication students undertake exciting internships with a variety of science organisations in Melbourne, including Zoos Victoria, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, 3RRR Community radio, EPA, CSIRO, University High School, Royal Botanic Gardens, Prader-Willi Research Foundation Australia, Melbourne Space Program and Museums Victoria.
Communication for Research Scientists (Graduate)
As a scientist, it is not only important to be able to experiment, research and discover, it is also vital that you can communicate your research effectively in a variety of ways to other scientists, including those outside your field. Even the most brilliant research is wasted if no one knows it has been done or if your audience is unable to understand it.
This subject is for research students and includes effective science writing and oral presentations across a number of formats: writing a thesis; preparing, submitting and publishing journal papers; searching for, evaluating and citing appropriate references; peer review, making the most of conferences; applying for grants and jobs; and using social media to publicise research.