Provides an understanding of the foundations and world of science including its philosophy, history, and the role it plays in the functioning of our society. Science is a tool used by researchers, doctors, psychologists, educators, engineers, managers and legislators to facilitate change and maintain our social and ecological systems: the value of science and its limitations for these uses needs to be recognised. A range of examples is used to investigate these topics including climate change, unconventional gas expansion, genetically modified crops and immunisation. Effective communication often determines the eventual utility of science and this aspect will be explored, with an emphasis on building skills in critical interpretation and communication of science and research.
The following topics will be addressed:
- Introduction to the philosophy and history of science: What is 'science'? The development of the 'scientific method' will be examined, from ancient Greece to the present day.
- Critical evaluation of science and the scientific method. Processes of scientific reasoning and limitations of science will be explored, including ethical considerations of research practice and communication.
- The role of science in society and vice versa. The ways that science can affect the functioning of societies, and social influences on the operation of science will be investigated, using case studies of globally important scientific issues.
- Exploring the complementary nature of Indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge, including differences, and connections between, these knowledge systems.
- Communicating science effectively. Effective communication of science is required to allow science to optimise its benefit to society. We will examine the basic strategies and techniques that underpin the effective communication of science.
Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.
Learning outcomes and graduate attributes
|On completion of this unit, students should be able to:||GA1||GA2||GA3||GA4||GA5||GA6||GA7|
|1||describe what 'science' is, including the various approaches that have been used in the development of science to advance knowledge||Ethical practice||Cultural competence|
|2||discuss the values and limitations of the scientific process in contributing to knowledge||Ethical practice||Cultural competence|
|3||critically examine the role of science in contributing to the resolution of important global issues||Ethical practice||Cultural competence|
|4||demonstrate an ability to critique and produce science-based communications.||Communication and social skills|
- There are prescribed readings for each weekly topic, including the Study Guide and associated links which will be assessed (excluding anything on Facebook): (various authors), Shortcut to MyReadings available in left navigation bar.
Teaching and assessment
Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2017 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2
Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.