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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Strat. Comm. for STEM, Envirn. & Healthcare
Module Code CM5032
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Padraig Murphy
Semester 2: Padraig Murphy
Autumn: Padraig Murphy
Module TeachersPadraig Murphy
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module takes as a starting point the contrasting approaches of strategic and marketing communications and the more recent ‘public engagement’ policy agenda in science, technology , engineering, maths, environ and healthcare. We look critically at the strengths and weaknesses of each and ways the two approaches can combine, exploring the models and activities in research and practice that engaged stakeholders and the public in science and technology. Using several case studies and science communication literature, students will learn to strategise and apply various options from awareness campaigns and information transfer to citizen science and stakeholder participation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand and analyse the many social processes linking science and society and the social contexts for technologies and science
2. Strategise and devise engagement plans taking various standpoints of vision and communication model, and applying appropriate engagement activities
3. Apply leadership in managing science or health education and public engagement initiatives
4. Monitor and evaluate impact and engagement output and processes in STEM

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Seminars11Student reading and presentation
Lecture22Lecture and interactive seminar
Independent Study62Student-centred learning
Online activity30Loop activities, forums, quizzes
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to strategic communication in STEM and tactical engagement
strategic communication and impact on early technology transfer; seeing how communicating science effectively requires ‘models’ and ‘activities’; the moments from deficit to dialogue to participation

Science and society: a short history
Tracing the role of naturalistic inquiry from antiquity through the Enlightenment and its effects today; future visions

Strategic science communcation
How science for the mass media and science journalism began

Society speaks back
Controversial science and technologies in health/medicine, enviro, STEM; from PUS to PEST; how social studies fo science evolved for engagement and sociology of science and medicine; competing knowledges online

Science policy and science-in-practice
science governance ; peer review and research integrity; Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

Institutional science
Medical communications and institutional knowledge management and leadership; higher education sector research, introduction to engaged research [

Deep engagement 1
Including the public snd stakeholders in data and agenda setting; science shops, citizen science, and PPI

Deep engagement 2
When science is less strategic - makerspaces, DIY, the arts leading science

Evaluation and monitoring
Evaluating EPE programmes and impact

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayAn essay on boundaries of science and society30%Week 12
AssignmentEvaluation of science or technology engagement programme or activity and recommendations for enhancement and upscaling40%Week 10
Report(s)Policy brief - outlining engagement strategy and impact30%Week 6
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Bucchi, Massimiano, and Trench, Brian, (editors): 2016, The public communication of science Volumes I-IV [selected readings]., Routledge, London,
  • Nowotny, H. P. Scott and M. Gibbon: 2001, ReThinking Science - knowledge and the public in age of uncertainty,, Polity Press,
  • Ravetz , J: 2006, The No-Nonsense Guide to Science,, New Internationalist,
  • Davies, Sarah R., Horst, Maja: 2016, Science Communication Culture, Identity and Citizenship, Palgrave,
  • Trench, B. Murphy, P. and Fahy, D. (eds): 2017, Little Country, Big Talk: Science Communication in Ireland, Pantaneto Press, Luton, UK:,
  • Murphy, P.: 2014, Biotechnology, Education and Life Politics: Debating Genetic Futures from School to Society., Routledge, London:,
  • Erickson, M: 2005, Science, culture and society - understanding science in the 21st century,, Polity Press,
  • Gould, S. J.: 2003, The Hedgehog, the Fox and the Magister's Pox - mending and minding the misconceived gap between science and the humanities,, Jonathan Cape,
  • Bauer, Martin W; Shukla, Rajesh, Allum, Nick: 2012, The culture of science: how the public relates to science across the globe., Routledge, New York :,
  • Fahy, D: 2014, The New Celebrity Scientists: Out of the Lab and into the Limelight, Rowman & Littlefield,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
CSPMMaster of Arts
MPCSMPhil (Communications)
MSHCMSc in Science and Health Communication

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