Science & Environmental Communication
FYSM 1000-04

Course Description

What is the ‘right’ approach to communicating about science so that people ‘get it’? Why can’t we find the silver bullet in science communications to consequently sort out associated problems? These are logical yet elusive questions that students, practitioners, scholars, and everyday people have asked many times over the years. The reality is that these are vexing, complicated, and difficult challenges. Moreover, these issues are often high stakes, high profile, and highly politicized, involving science, policy, culture, psychology, environment, and society. This interdisciplinary course addresses key themes and topics in science communication (e.g. climate change, hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking), decarbonization), as we appraise and evaluate work in these areas. Course participants work to identify how and why certain approaches find success with selected audiences, gaining insights from varying perspectives, viewpoints, disciplines and methodologies while improving our understanding of the many dynamic and contested factors, pressures and processes that are involved in science communication.