Each year undergraduate students in SCOM2003 Science in Popular Fiction must complete a focus group-based research project, but between 2010 and 2014 they could choose between completing it solo purely for assessment, or in a group for both assessment and an attempt at publication in an academic journal.
Topics for the group version included:
- public responses to science in 'Lisa the Skeptic', a 1997 episode of animated TV series The Simpsons, which was published as a journal paper in 2012 in the International Journal of Science Education Part B: Communication and Public Engagement.
- the influence of viewer experience on perceptions of science in an episode of forensic drama Bones
- the use of medical drama House for identifying people's preferences regarding medical practitioners
- female scientist characters on television as role models for women in science; case study the forensic scientist Abby in crime drama NCIS.
- World War Z as a tool for communicating about infectious diseases and disease management.
For more information see the SCOM2003 entry on the Programs and Courses website or contact the SCOM2003 convenor, Dr Lindy Orthia.