Reflecting on, problematizing and critiquing ‘value’ in science communication as a discipline and a practice.

Science communication now has a 20+ year history as an academic discipline - and many centuries as a practice - under its belt. There are myriad unexplored assumptions about not just the value of science communication, but how we consider and talk about value itself. The global community of scholars and practitioners could benefit from deep, sophisticated critical reflection about how we deliberate upon what we value and how we choose to focus our endeavours. I would be very keen to hear from potential research students interested in problematising and critiquing science communication in its numerous guises and manifestations.

Possible projects might look at:

  • How, where and by whom arguments about the “value” of science communication are contextualised and articulated?
  • The methods via which science communication does, and more importantly, does not reflect on its own enterprises?
  • Contexts in which science communication research, theory and practice might be operating reactively, or out of habit, and the implications of this.
  • How science communication researchers and/or practitioners prioritise the foci of their enterprises. For example, do we favour particular measures, methods, theories and/or modes of delivery, and if so, to what extent are these favourites based on mindful reflection versus unexplored assumptions?
  • What constitutes “success” in science communication, and to whom?
  • What are the foundations, benefits and disadvantages of the prevalent schools of thought in science communication, and to what extent might these benefit from problematisation, critique and re-imagining?

For interested potential researchers, this list should only be seen as a starting point to open up a discussion. It is by no means exhaustive!

Eligibility

Admission to a Doctor of Philosophy degree at ANU requires:

  1. An Australian Bachelor degree with at least Second Class or its international equivalent, or
  2. Another degree with a significant research/thesis component that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1), or
  3. A combination of qualifications, research publications and/or professional experience related to the field of study that may be assessed as equivalent to paragraph (1).

Further information relating to eligibility can be found on the ANUs website: http://www.anu.edu.au/study/apply/anu-postgraduate-research-domestic-and-international-applications

The Candidate

The successful applicant will have a passion for science communication and interdisciplinary research. They will have a background in a relevant discipline and an awareness/knowledge of social research methods. They will also possess strong interpersonal skills, curiosity, strong writing skills, and be able to work effectively as part of a small team and also independently.

Supervisor

Dr Rod Lamberts, Deputy Director, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, ANU

Funding

The successful applicant with be based in the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at the ANU. Scholarships are available for both domestic and international applicants, and CPAS will work with the successful applicant to guide them through the scholarship process.

To Apply

To be considered for this position, in the first instance please forward a current CV (2-page max.) and short cover letter (1-page max.) to Dr Rod Lamberts (rod.lamberts@anu.edu.au).  In the cover letter, be sure to let us know why you are the perfect candidate based on the skills outlined above. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis as they are received, and this position will remain open until filled.