SCIE4403 The Conduct, Ethics and Communication of Science

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1OnlineOnline
Semester 2OnlineOnline
The development and advancement of science relies on effective written and spoken communication. Strong communication skills are essential for the development of collaborative scientists who are well integrated into the community of science and able to converse widely. These skills allow scientists to acquire new information, convey research results, mount convincing arguments, make decisive and evidence-based decisions, form effective and worthwhile collaborations and become leaders who can influence the perception of science in their discipline and in wider society. A series of modules and group discussions, coupled with peer evaluation of written essays and oral and poster presentations, are used to help students develop the skills needed to communicate effectively, from one-on-one interactions to public forums. Modules include guidance on the preparation of research data and other information for publication, effective use of library and information services, and exploring newly emerging conduits for disseminating research findings. This unit is of interest to postgraduate coursework students, who become more employable through the acquisition of research ethics, communication and workplace skills.
Students are able to (1) conduct ethical research which includes acquiring, managing and sharing of data in a way that respects the personal and intellectual property of the owner, avoiding plagiarism and fostering peer review and inclusive authorship; (2) conduct themselves in a professional manner in the workplace which includes ethical scientific behaviour, fostering collaborative relationships and workplace communication skills; (3) write a Scientific article to a high professional standard; and (4) present advanced-level knowledge and/or results at professional and community events through talks, seminars and poster presentations.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) oral presentaions; (2) online quizzes; and (3) written reports. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Roberta Bencini (Semester 1) and Professor Martin Barbetti (Semester 2)
Unit rules
enrolment in postgraduate course or honours
Contact hours
7 workshops running once a fortnight. This unit runs in both Semester 1 and Semester 2 and taken in either semester.
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.
  • If this unit is offered as on-campus face-to-face study only, students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.