Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Learning to Communicate

My undergraduate degree from Aston University was in Sociology and Politics, but being a science geek at heart when I spotted an MSc at Cardiff University in Science, Media and Communication I thought it was worth a look. My A-levels were all science; Maths, Chem, Biology, Physics, Environmental Sicence, Geogrpahy and ICT but because I was lazy and ill in an unfortunate combination, I didn't do well enough to study science at a higher level. I'm almost glad; Sociology was something I feel into but something I excelled at.

The main building of Cardiff UniversityImage via Wikipedia

People are fascinating subjects to study and the way they operate en mass is even more interesting as it is so predictable but utterly random at the same time. I've slowly built up a regular list of science-based podcasts, newspaper columns and books that I consume constantly and my growing twitter addiction is fuelling further interest in all things sciencey. So the opportunity presented by this masters course to learn how to bridge the gap between people and science was one I couldn't resist.

Having started the course, I am thrilled that it is everything I hope for and more (so far), given me the opportunity to work with children at Techniquest, inspiring young mnds to get interested in science, whilst providing me with usuable tools in science journalism so I can get involved at higher levels and hopefully make some money out of it (I have to pay the bills at some point).

I've decided to interject this blog on science-things-I-think-are-interesting with personal entries on how my course is going and what I am learning. So far, I haven't got a huge following, lol, but I'm hoping if I can keep this going, some people mihgt be interested to hear what is being taught to science communicators of the future.

So for this first course-based blog, I thought I'd set out what I want to learn from this course, you might not be interested, but it will be interesting to me to come back to this in a year and see if I have achieved any of it.

Firstly, I want to learn how to inspire people to take an interest in science. I admire hugely people who are making a career out of doing this but have a sneaking suspicion its something you've either naturally got, or haven't.

Secondly, I want to learn how to critically, sceptically but fairly evaluate scientific claims and communicate my opinions to a wider audience.

Thirdly, I want to learn how to entertain whilst educate, because no one likes a boring teacher.

Fourthly, and finally I want to contribute something positive to the field of science communication. I'm doing this course because I want to make a career out of this, but I want to be able to do something good whilst paying the rent.

So they're very quickly thought up goals, as with all my blog posts I tend to blog-on-the-fly so I will probably amend and add to them later.

Like I said, this is more for my own records, so I can evaluate my progress and my achievements when I come to the end of my course, but maybe you'll be interested in reading it. Maybe not.
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  1. I'm looking forward to following your adventures on the Sci Comm course! You have some admirable goals and I share a lot of the same ideals. I would have loved to have done this kind of course, but I guess instead I get to be a scientist that communicates, which is just as fun!

  2. Definitely! If there were no scientists, I'd have nothing to communicate!