COM 399 Media, Science, and Society
Dr. Elliot Gaines, Office: 411 Millett
Class Meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30-10:10 p.m.
Room 060 University Hall
This syllabus will be revised as the course progresses. See* below.
Required reading will be posted with library reserve
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This is a “special topics” course exploring a range of issues about media, science, and their effects on society. The class will study communication strategies that produce effective representations of science for the non-scientist in popular media. Principles of media literacy will be applied to representations of science in order to promote critical thinking about media, science, and social discourse.
COURSE GOALS: The goals of the class are to understand the culture of science and how scientists succeed in presenting topics to lay audiences. Students will gain understanding of the social impact of media representations with a specific focus on understanding science, scientific methods, the qualifications of experts, and differences between facts, beliefs, speculation, and opinions.
*THIS COURSE IS A WORK-IN-PROGRESS: The Course Description and Course Goals will remain consistent, but this syllabus will develop as the course specifics change during the term.
There will be class meetings and discussions, on-line assignments, group assignments, and on-line class meetings.
All assignments will be discussed in detail in class and posted on Course Studio. All students are required to access their WSU email account and Course Studio for announcements, discussions, assignments, and personal contacts.
READINGS will be posted on Library Reserve and Course Studio.
Required activities will include reading, watching and listening to a variety of relevant media, searching for relevant media, and discussing ideas about media and science. Students will be required to pass quizzes and turn in assignments related to readings, write research papers, and make presentations.
Students in this course are subject to attendance requirements and restrictions. Specifically, anyone not attending the first week of class will be dropped. Materials cannot be made-up. Attendance and participation are required and affect grade points.
All students should be familiar with Wright State University’s policy on academic dishonesty. Cheating and plagiarism--submitting someone else’s work or ideas as your own--will not be tolerated. Plagiarism will result in failure for an assignment and possibly failure in a final grade for the course.
COM 399 Grading:
Š Quizzes and Knowledge Forms = 25 points
Š Term papers = 25 points
Š Individual presentation = 10 points
Š Group presentation = 10 points
Š Group assignments = 15 points.
Š Attendance, participation = 20 points
Š Unprofessional behaviors or disturbances may result in a student being dismissed from the class. Cell phone ringing, disturbances, or other inappropriate behavior = -20 points
Š All questions about individual grades may be addressed during office hours.
GRADING POLICY: Grades are based on meeting criteria specified in each assignment including timely completion of written assignments and presentations. All assignments will be collected at a designated time and date. Deviations from assignment deadlines are not allowed unless permission from the professor is granted.
All questions about individual grades and individual progress may be addressed during office hours. Grades and papers are not returned in class. Individual meetings during office hours are advised.
COM 399 Schedule, Spring 2009
(Subject to change as the quarter progresses).
March. 31 Syllabus Introduction to the class
April 2 READ Stolzenburg (Library Reserve; see above))
April 7 READ Springer or Simestad, and Estes_1998(Course Studio)
April 9 READ Lewontin (Libr.)
April 14 READ Sebeok (Libr),
April 16 Screening First paper due.
April 21 READ Rogers (Libr.)and Misunderstanding of Darwin (Course Studio)
April 23 Screening
April. 28 READ Kuhn. Second paper due.
April 30 Screening
May 5 READ McLuhan
May 7 Screening
May 12 Third paper due
May 14 Final Discussion in Preparation for Presentations
May 19 Presentations
May 21 Presentations
May 26 Presentations
May 28 Presentations
June 2 Presentations
June 4 Presentations
Syllabus or schedule may be changed to meet the needs of the class.