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Science Communication and Public Engagement: Track 1

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The adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel ‘The War of The Worlds’ in 1938 showed the power of radio to capture listeners’ imagination through science-fiction - and in doing so demonstrated how mass media could be used to communicate science to different audiences. For decades, print and broadcast media have used different genres to portray the sciences, and the popularity of TV programmes like the BBC’s Blue Planet and the longevity of Horizon illustrates a current demand for science broadcasting. But with the digital revolution and the emergence of social networking will professional science broadcasting still retain significance in the future? Is there a role in this new digital world for printed journals and other forms of ‘traditional’ media? Dr Richard Holliman leads discussions exploring the history of science broadcasting and looks at whether emerging forms of user-generated content provide new opportunities for scientists to engage with members of the public.

This material has been taken from The Open University course SH804 Communicating science in the information age.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 1 hour 15 mins
  • Updated Monday 19th April 2010
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Across the Sciences
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Track 1: Communicating science

A short introduction to this album.


© The Open University 2010


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Communicating science    A short introduction to this album. Play now Communicating science
2 Science and society    Dr. Richard Holliman interviews Prof. Alan Irwin on the changing relationship between science and society. Play now Science and society
3 Communicating science    Dr Richard Holliman interviews Dr Victoria Pearson on how she communicates science as a scientist, researcher, teacher and public engagement practitioner. Play now Communicating science
4 A history of the science journal Nature    Ian Flintoff discussing the history of the weekly journal Nature, how it has changed and how it communicates scientific research. Play now A history of the science journal Nature
5 Science in fiction    A round table discussion with Liz Whitelegg, Bob Lambourne and Jon Turney, discussing the role of science fiction and science-in-fiction Play now Science in fiction
6 A history of science broadcasting by the BBC    Dr. Richard Holliman talks with Allan Jones about his research on the history of science broadcasting at the BBC, primarily reflecting on the early days of public service broadcasting on radio. Play now A history of science broadcasting by the BBC
7 The role of the Royal Institution    How has the Royal Institution’s remit developed since its inception over 200 years ago to address scientific, technological, societal and cultural change? Play now The role of the Royal Institution
8 The Royal Institution: Christmas lectures    Baroness Susan Greenfield discusses her experience of delivering the first Christmas lecture to be given by a woman, in 1994. Play now The Royal Institution: Christmas lectures
9 Faraday’s Royal Institution    What influence did Michael Faraday have in transforming the Royal Institution, both as the scientific director, and as a presenter of scientific information? Play now Faraday’s Royal Institution
10 Re-developing the Royal Institution    How was the role and purpose of the Royal Institution extended in the early years of the 21st Century following a £24 million refurbishment? Play now Re-developing the Royal Institution

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