Public Science-related Graduate Courses for Spring ’19

Principles of Public Science
NR 595 Madhusudan Katti ( WF 10:15-11:30

Do you want your research to have high and broad impact? This class will expose you to a variety of practices so that you can situate your contribution to science relevant to society. Overcoming 21st century grand challenges requires public science that includes practices of open science, science communication, and citizen science. To conduct public science is to undertake the most collaborative research of all – research that can involve anyone. You’ll gain hands-on experience to make your data a valuable legacy (through proper management and archiving), to articulate, frame, and have public dialogues about your research topic (through a variety of communication formats), and be prepared to bring your research topic to scale (with citizen science).

Learning in Informal Contexts
EMS 594/794 K.C. Busch ( Thursdays 4:30-7:15pm

Many people associate learning with school; however, the average American spends less than 5% of their lifetime in school! In contrast, the landscape of informal learning opportunities is expansive, including museums, zoos and aquaria, special-interest clubs, and everyday contexts (such as media). In this Special Topics course, we will examine the theory, practice, and research & evaluation of learning in informal contexts. The main focus of the coursework will involve collaborative projects working with community partners who offer informal learning programs. Last year, our community partners were: the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, NC Museum of Art, NC Museum of History, Museum of Life & Science – Durham, NCSU Libraries, NC Gregg Museum of Art & Design, and NC State Farmers Market.

Note: This class is designed for everyone – You do not need to have a background in science or education. Last year, this course was rated 5/5 by students on university evaluations – it was awesome! This class is an online/in-person hybrid; it’s strongly recommended to sign up for the in-person version.

Science & Technology Policy
PA 552 or PA598-798[1], Jennifer Kuzma (, Mondays 3:00-5:45 pm

The world is changing dramatically due to increasing scientific information and the development and deployment of emerging technologies like biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, neurotechnology, and information technology. In turn, these technologies are shaped and influenced by social, political, and cultural factors. Arguably, the need to understand science-technology-society relationships has never been greater. As such, this class will expose students to a variety of ways to conceptualize and study these relationships. In particular, the class will explore how policies are formed, used, and evaluated to guide the ways that science and technology interact with society. Qualitative policy analysis will be used as a methodological framework for the evaluation of policy options for S&T problems. Topical content will include the history and evolution of S&T policy; current national and international S&T policy systems and the interactions and conflicts within and surrounding them; the relationships among citizens, experts, organizations, and cultures; research and development (R&D) support infrastructure and effects on economies and society; and responsible governance of S&T. Sub-themes for the course include national and international funding of R&D; S&T in economic and global development; intellectual property and its impacts; contemporary institutional roles in governance of S&T; public engagement and participatory processes; ethical and cultural frameworks for S&T policy; capacity building in developing countries; health and well-being of societies and ecosystems as related to S&T; and security in the context of S&T policy.

Climate Change Communication
COM 479/579; David M. Berube (; MW 3:00 – 4:15.

An exploration of the communication successes and failures surrounding climate change and public opinion. Topics addressed include: agenda setting, media effects, framing, data visualizations, fear responses, naming, risk communication and theory, argumentation and refutation, and persuasion as well as issues and current events related to the challenges associated with communicating climate change to multiple stakeholders.

Creative Media Production for Scientists
BIO 592 072 Adrian Smith (  M 4-4:50; W 3-4:50

This course will be an introduction to science communication through online digital media & video. Students will survey and discuss current science communication media practices, and will produce their own media pieces about their own scientific research interests. An interest in learning to produce digital media is required, previous experience in doing so is not.