Society, media and modern sciences

Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in SCIENCE AND TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
2017/2018
Year: 
2
Academyc year when helding the course: 
2018/2019
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Credits: 
8
Period: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
64
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (64 hours)
Requirements: 

No special requirements are requested, but it is mandatory an adequate knowledge of the main historical and scientific events of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Final Examination: 
Orale

The exam is divided into a presentation in the classroom and an oral examination.
The presentation will take place as follows:
• each student (attending and not attending) will have to agree with the teacher the subject of the presentation.
• the presentation can be prepared by a small groups of two students, with comparative analyzes of works related to one another.
• the presentations (max.20 minutes) will be followed by a critical discussion by students organized in groups. The presentation in the classroom is a mandatory requirement in order to take the exam and must be agreed with the teacher by the end of April in order to define a schedule of presentations that will be held in May.

The oral examination will be a discussion of the contents of the books by P. Govoni, M. Merzagora, A. Bisicchia + one chosen volume among those by Traversetti, Brodesco and Greco-Pitrelli. Four questions will be asked on the contents of the books. The interdisciplinary capacity for critical analysis and independent judgment on the main topics of the course will also be evaluated with one question. It will be also required an adequate knowledge of the topics covered by the lessons and included in the slides available in the e-learning website (one question).
The final result will take into account accuracy and quality of the responses (70%), ability to engage in exercise (10%), ability to highlight proper independent judgment, a thorough investigation, an original critical analysis (20%).

- The exams will take place according to the sequence of registration. The students will be asked to show their ID.
- According to the number of enrolled students present the call, the exams will also continue in the following days.
- The students can request to anticipate or postpone the examination time, but no later than the day or days scheduled for the appeal.

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

Objectives and learning outcomes
The course aims to develop in students the ability to produce critical interdisciplinary analysis able to deal with different kinds of scientific communication within the contemporary context.
The expected results include:
• ability to select topics, using and comparing primary and secondary sources through original elaborations;
• ability to understand and evaluate authors, historical and scientific subjects in their social context, also in relation to current and interdisciplinary issues;
• ability to identify and study the different types of media and their interactions with science and society in defined historical periods;
• ability to argue with a flexible approach and a constructive attitude;
• ability to express themselves with a proper and convincing language, able to highlight an excellent knowledge of the concepts, original ideas and intellectual vitality.

Content and course program
The course aims to present the various forms of communication that have transformed the modern science in an important socio-cultural phenomenon, which has influenced different types of media in contemporary society: from literature and periodic press in the 19th century, up to the theater, the cinema and the television of the twentieth century.
The course will define, identify and analyze:
• the impact of scientific knowledge on social contexts and communication skills;
• the expectations towards science and technology in society;
• the public perception of science and technology, as well as their transmission and 'transfiguration' in contemporary media.

The course is divided into the following sections:
• popular science and literatur;: "positive science" and "science for all";
• scientific novels, origins and early development of science fiction: from Verne to Asimov;
• Science and cinema: history, biographies, disasters, new worlds;
• Science in the theater;
• The sciences in the new media: from television to the Internet

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It is required the study of the following volumes:
• P. GOVONI, Un pubblico per la scienza (Roma, Carocci, 2011, pp. 368.
• M. MERZAGORA, Scienza da vedere (Milano, Sironi, 2006), pp. 1-106.
• A. BISICCHIA, Teatro e scienza (Torino, UTET, 2006): only chapters VI e VII (pp. 71-137).

One of the follwing volumes:
A. BRODESCO, Una voce nel disastro. L'immagine dello scienziato nel cinema dell'emergenza (Roma, Meltemi, 2008)
B. TRAVERSETTI, Introduzione a Verne (Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1995)
P. GRECO e N. PITRELLI, Scienza e media ai tempi della globalizzazione (Torino, Codice, 2009)

For the exam is also required to study the course material presented during lectures (available on the e-learning platform: http://elearning3.uninsubria.it/)

Teaching activities
The course includes a cycle of 64 hours of lectures, which will include presentations by the students.

Student Reception Hours: Students may talk to the teacher at his office in the Dipartimento di Scienze Teoriche e Applicate, via Mazzini 5 in Varese (first floor), every Friday from 5pm to 7pm (see also the e-learning website and the teacher's home page (https://www.uninsubria.it/hpp/ezio.vaccari#1)

Professors