Science, Environmental, and Health Communication

Bernardo Motta's picture
Course number: 
COMM 447
Bernardo H. Motta
Bridgewater College
Course Description: 

This course will be offered again in January 2015.

Course description:

Catalog: This course examines the role of news, advocacy, scientific analysis, decision making, policy, risk perception, politics and other related instances in the communication of issues related to science, environment, and health.

Instructor: The course will follow how information created by scientists in environmental and health issues is used by the media, public relations practitioners, law makers, regulators, and decision makers in governments, organizations and corporations, and, finally, by lay citizens. We will analyze strategies to get scientific knowledge to the public arena in ways that inform, educate and empower the public and in ways that can mislead or confuse the public.


Course objectives:

At the end of this course, students should have a better understanding of the scientific communication processes including political influence, funding systems, corporate-driven research v. public interest-driven research, and the role of the different types of media and public relations professionals. Students should also learn basic practical techniques to analyze, evaluate, and produce news stories and public relations and social marketing campaigns.