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Unit information: Scientific Communication in 2015/16

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Unit name Scientific Communication
Unit code EASCM0003
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1A (weeks 1 - 6)
Unit director Professor. Mader
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

A unit developing skills in oral, written and multimedia scientific communication, so as to present scientific results and hypotheses in the primary scientific literature, in other kinds of review and popular literature, and as talks at conference, in authoritative and convincing presentations utilising the most effective text and illustrations. Cognate themes important for scientific researchers are developed, including scientific ethics, career development, and research planning and funding.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of this unit are all practical. Such practical skills include the ability to:

  • Write a coherent report about basic scientific results
  • Follow 'instructions to authors' precisely, when relevant.
  • Produce a persuasive written account arguing in favour of a particular point.
  • Prepare and present an authoritative and convincing talk.
  • Produce basic web pages, incorporating effective use of text and illustrations
  • Distinguish fact from interpretation in preparing a report
  • Arrange information in a logical fashion.

Teaching Information

Lectures and practicals.

Assessment Information

Participants in Scientific Communications include 4th year undergraduate students, taught masters students, and new PhD research students. Assessment is handled differently for each group. New research students are asked to prepare a personal web page, fourth year MSci students will be assessed on aspects of their Research Project preparation and the week 4 quiz, and for taught MSc students the requirements will be set out by the course tutor.

Reading and References

Geowriting, produced by the American Geological Institute, is strongly recommended. We urge students to read this, or one of the many available books on scientific writing methods. Classics like Ernest Gower's 'Plain English' and a decent dictionary will also help.