Science Communication and Education


In this unit, students will contact with models and practices of science communication, in particular those involved in school audiences and lifelong learning audiences. Upon concluding this seminar, students are expected to:
(1) identify and distinguish the main theories and models affecting scientific education and science communication, in historical and current perspectives;
(2) know professional methods and practices used for science communication in formal or informal education-oriented organizations;
(3) identify and understand the social and professional transformations associated with recent changes in media outlets and internet;
(4) create a science communication product/resource in writing, visual, or multimedia;
(5)experience new science communication methods through the internet and digital social networks;
(6) envisage a professional science communication project in education environment.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carlos Henrique Catalão Alves


Weekly - 4

Total - 280

Teaching language





Brake, M., & Weitcamp, E. (2009) Introducing Science Communication: a Practical Guide. Palgrave Macmillan.
Costa, A.F., et al. (2005) Cultura Científica e Movimento Social: Contributos para a Análise do Programa Ciência Viva. Oeiras, Portugal: Celta Editora.
DeBoer, G.E. (2000) Scientific Literacy: Another look at its historical and contemporary meanings and its relationships to science education reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37 (6), 582-601.
DeBoer, G.E. (1991) A History of Ideas in Science Education: Implications for Practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
National Research Council (2009) Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places and Pursuits. Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press.
National Research Council (2010) Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments. Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press.
Pickering, A. (ed) (1992) Science as Practice and Culture. London: The University of Chicago Press.

Teaching method

Theoretical sessions

Theoretical approach to the evolution and current tendencies of science communication ideas, theories and models in formal and non-formal learning environments.

Practical sessions
Workshops. Students work on science communication products in different supports. By contacting with these materials, students elaborate a science communication project about a scientific area/topic, integrating different supports on a website and using the pedagogical tools and communication techniques better adapted to a school audience, in a context of educational science communication.

Evaluation method

Evaluation method - Two individual works.(100%)

Subject matter

Principles and techniques of science communication in learning environments: implications for science education and for interacting with the scientific and educational community.
History of scientific education ideas from the XX century onwards – current tendencies in science teaching .
Science experimental teaching and the scientific community – involving the public in a direct interaction with the physical and natural world. Observation and experimentation in science communication in learning environments .
Science communication in non-formal learning environments: museums and science centres; libraries, foundations, agencies, and other organizations with an educational mission;Science communication and education in scientific organizations. Cooperation networks between scientific and educational community.
Science communication and lifelong learning – science publics .
Concept, development and production of science communication resources for education.


Programs where the course is taught: