Communicating science

Science plays a key role in providing solutions to world issues, ranging from climate change impacts to stem cell research. Communicating this information is an increasingly important skill. Deakin science students develop the practical skills needed to create science communication resources across multiple formats, and for different audiences.

Learn practical science communication skills

Studying science communication at Deakin will have you working with our expert teaching staff and collaborating with industry on real-world science communication projects.

Want to communicate scientific information to industry, government, research institutes, museums and other public interest groups? In the Communicating Science Ideas unit you’ll:

  • develop the key skills to create and disseminate science communication for a variety of formats, including brochures, posters and mixed media
  • learn about public attitudes, political engagement and ethics, and gain an understanding of the importance of science communication in society.

Interested in helping an organisation realise its science communication project? The Community Science Project unit develops your key collaborative, communicative and practical skills to do just that. You’ll:

  • work on a real-world project within a simulated professional environment with a client organisation to deliver a finished product for use by a range of audiences

I believe the science communication units really demonstrate the powers of science and their consequent influence on society. Our project explored a disease that is often forgotten and misunderstood, while the support and feedback that we received from the ME/CFS patient community was overwhelmingly positive and inspiring.

Sarah Massie

Bachelor of Science student

Student project showcase

Our students have collaborated with our industry and community connections to create valuable science communication resources. Here are just some examples.

Engaging social media to raise awareness of chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms

The aim of this project was to combine and condense the current diagnostic criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), as students had found discrepancies in symptoms across different criteria.

Students created a short questionnaire featuring the key symptoms and sought input from the public via social media to determine whether questions were suitable. It was made clear that the goal was not to replace professional medical advice.

Simple and easy-to-understand visuals of scientific concepts and research were posted to social media and received a very positive response from the ME/CFS patient community.

Helping to remove the ‘yuck’ factor in the perception of maggot therapy

Maggot therapy utilises the blowfly larvae of Lucilia sericata to remove dead tissue, secrete substances that disinfect a wound and stimulate new tissue growth. With rises in global wound burden and antibiotic resistance, clinicians around the world are returning to this ancient therapy. Currently, its use is not widespread in Australia.

The aim of this project was to effectively explain the benefits of maggot therapy and remove the ‘yuck’ factor that arises from misinformation. Students created a brochure that explained what maggot therapy was, the benefits and advantages of the therapy, and any potential side effects. Each therapy stage was described in a simple visual format with a link to further information. Students also created an easy-to-read health board poster.

I was able to provide a real problem and the team worked to provide an array of useful materials. They gave me ownership over the process, allowing me to make key choices as the client, and provided a polished finished product that is high quality.

Michelle Harvey

Associate Professor

A science career for the future

Improve the world around you, and for generations to come, by studying science at Deakin. With hands-on learning, industry collaboration and expert teaching staff, you’ll be well prepared for an exciting future career.

Find out more about studying science at Deakin