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Science Divulgation

Code: DC603     Acronym: DC603

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Science Divulgation

Instance: 2019/2020 - 1S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Science Education Unit
Course/CS Responsible: Doctor's Degree in Teaching and Dissemination of Science

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
PDEDC 11 PE PD em Ensino e Divulgação das Ciências 1 - 9 35 243

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Paulo Simeão de Oliveira Ferreira de Carvalho

Teaching language



To deepen the importance of science dissemination in the present context.

To adapt scientific contents and methodologies to a target audience.

To improve the ability for scientific communication, namely towards audiences away from formal education.

To promote general skills in scientific dissemination and outreach.

To enhance the ability to present ideas orally, with clarity and accuracy.

To understand the scientific construction as a social process (as well).

To contact with "state-of-the-art" scientific dissemination in specific fields such as: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology and Biology.

To recognize the importance of scientific interdisciplinarity in scientific dissemination.

To understand public spaces of scientific dissemination: their specificities, weak points and potentialities.

Learning outcomes and competences

Interdisciplinary understanding of debates relevant to scientific dissemination.

Autonomy and initiative in the field of scientific dissemination.

Ability to work in multidisciplinary teams towards the development and implementation of projects on scientific dissemination.

Critical evaluation of real-life scientific dissemination activities.

To develop skills to communicate scientific topics.

To know how to evaluate target audiences (namely their knowledge, language, level of scientific training, which ICT they already use, etc.).

Development of transferable skills relevant for the teaching practice.

Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Not applicable.


General component:

Part I

  • Communication and Dissemination of Science: clarification of concepts and theoretical contextualization.
  • Motivations and barriers in the Dissemination of Science.
  • Models and public in science communication.
  • Types of science communication. The citizen science.
  • The attitudes and understanding of science in the national and international panorama.
  • Experiences of visitors in science museums: considerations on evaluation models.

Part II

  • Practices and representations in science museums in Portugal.
  • Visits to spaces of national scientific dissemination.

Specific component:

  • Study of the dissemination of the different sciences in the national and international context: situation, examples, challenges and constraints.

Mandatory literature

Bucchi, M & Trench, B (eds); Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology,, Routledge, 2008

Complementary Bibliography

J. Paulo Serra; Manual de Teoria da Comunicação, Livros Labcom, 2007. ISBN: 978-972-8790-87-5

Teaching methods and learning activities

-        Theoretical presentations.

-        Research assignments, individual and group, presentations and debates.

-        Individual research and reflection assignments.

-        The central contents of this curricular unit are mainly taught during classes, but not exclusively. Field trips to museums and other scientific dissemination spaces may also take place.

-        The CU will have a modular component with both the attendance of all the students with the several teachers of the subject areas or in specific groups, by preferred subject area.

Lesson 1- (of interdisciplinary nature, with the presence of teachers of all the modules). Presentation of the CU and work plan. General debate under the title "scientific dissemination today" - what exists, expectations, fears and challenges.

Lessons 2 to 4 - Fundaments of science dissemination. Forms of science dissemination: scientific literature, "popularization of science", museums and institutionalization of science. Science dissemination spaces in Portugal: Status and Challenges.

Lessons 5 to 7 - A critical look about scientific communication. Visits to local spaces of sciences dissemination.

Lessons 8 to 14: students are distributed by the modules of mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology and biology, in order to develop a project on the “critical evaluation of a scientific dissemination practice”.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 5,00
Prova oral 35,00
Trabalho escrito 60,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

designation Time (hours)
Apresentação/discussão de um trabalho científico 3,00
Estudo autónomo 50,00
Frequência das aulas 35,00
Trabalho de campo 35,00
Trabalho de investigação 60,00
Trabalho escrito 60,00
Total: 243,00

Eligibility for exams

General assessment. 2/3 attendance rate. 

Calculation formula of final grade

Students develop and present work that will necessarily include:

a) an introductory section of no more than 3 A4 pages, based on the personal synthesis on the impact of the first 7 classes on multidisciplinary scientific dissemination.

b) planning and description of the visit to a space of scientific dissemination chosen by each student with the respective analysis of: good examples of museological transposition / social and interactive interactions in science dissemination; examples and implications. Collection of solutions / inspirations.

c) the selection, by the students, of a scientific subject in the disciplinary area of the specific component of the UC that they consider deserving to be worked / divulged:

   - Justification of the choice of theme (experience, perspectives and expectations)

   - Perspectives of a possible way to disseminate it (location, support, target audience, possible differentiated strategies).

d) the prototyping / sketching of the interactive module for a museum according to the theme chosen initially and explaining the technological and museological solutions "absorbed" in the visit(s).

The paper should have between 6 and 12 A4 pages, to be delivered in digital format and will be presented orally.

Formula of calculation of the final evaluation

- 60% assignment (evaluated under three criteria):

a) Scientific accuracy.

b) Creativity/originality.

c) Clearness in what concerns the target goal.

- 35% presentation and discussion of the assignment, commitment and active participation in the various activities

- 5% activities participation 


In addition to other scientific papers of international journals in scientific dissemination to be suggested for each module, the bibliography includes:

Ambrose, T., & Paine C. (2006). Museum basic. London: Routledge Taylor & Francis.

Araújo, Dias & Coutinho (2006). Comunicar Ciência (Guia Teórico & Guia Prático).FCT. 

Bauer, M. (2000). Science in the Media as a Cultural Indicator: Contextualizing Surveys with Media Analysis. In M. Dierkes & C. von Grote (eds.), Between Understanding and Trust. The Public, Science and Technology. Amsterdam: Harwood.

Behrends, E., Crato, N.,& Rodrigues, J. F. (2012). Raising Public Awareness of Mathematics. Springer, 2012. 

Bucchi, M., & Trench, B. (2008). Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology. London & New York: Routledge. 

European Commission (2004). Guide to Successful Communications. 

Gonçalves, M.E. (2002) (org.) Os Portugueses e a Ciência , Lisboa: Dom Quixote.   

Gregory, J., Miller, S. (1998) Science in Public: communication, culture and credibility New York: Plenum.                                                              
Pereira, D. C. (2007). Nova educação, nova ciência, nova sociedade. Porto: Editora UP.

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