SH804 Week 0: Activity: Reflecting on your experiences of science communication

Even thought the course doesn’t start for a couple of weeks, in the preparation material we are asked to think about ways we have communicated science.  Well personally, I haven’t.  I assume that the majority of people on this course are professional scientists, although I am not.  I have a Degree in Environmental Biology and a HND in Applied Biology, however since gaining these qualifications I have never had a job as a scientist.  I currently work as an elearning advisor in which I support Further education and Sixth Form colleges in their use of educational technology.  I guess the only way I can think that I have communicated science is in teaching materials I have developed such as the short learning object on speciation I created for one of my previous OU courses.

So I will tackle this question a little differently.  I will look at ways I have received science information;

Television; Ranging from the high brow BBC4 programs such as ‘the Secret life of chaos’  to low brow science entertainment shows such as the Gadget show and Brainiac.

Online Videos:  The TED videos have become a fantastic resource on a whole range of subjects, not just science.  For me they seem to be an evolutionary leap from the royal society Christmas lectures which have virtually disappeared from the TV schedules.

Podcasts:  I am a fan of podcasts and I’m currently signed up to the weekly science podcast from the Guardian.

Websites:  I get RSS updates from sites such as and the New Scientist.

Magazines: I am currently a big fan of the Magazine Wired which covers a range of topics including advances in science

Newspapers:  I follow the science stories in the news and do my best to dig a little behind the headlines to find out what is really going on.

Books:  I’m personally more likely to listen to an audio book than read the hard copy, however I have enjoyed a number of science books including those by dawkins and Bill Brysons Short History of nearly everything.

Well that’s my list for the moment. I know it wasn’t the question that was asked but I would be interested to see how this list will change by the end of the course


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