CNM Executive Education: The Nuts And Bolts of Science Communication

WHY YOU NEED TO ATTEND: Public engagement in science has emerged as the new frontier in policy circles, among scientists as well as professionals whose jobs are to effectively communicate science-related topics to non-experts . Although there have been a number of ongoing initiatives on this, there exists discrepancy in the understanding of concept, how it is operationalised, and how it is approached in the various communities of practice.

The 2-day course aims to provide its participants with in-depth understanding on the key debates and conceptual challenges in public engagement with science.

7 – 8 December 2017
9:00 am – 5:00 PM
@ Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
National University of Singapore
Block AS6, #03-38, CNM Meeting Room

Register Online Now at

For enquiries, feel free to reach out to Mr Amir Hamid at

Opinion: Social media and political polarisation in India- By Taberez Ahmed Neyazi

Assistant Professor Taberez Ahmed Neyazi observes that the high ideals of social media are slowly being eroded by toxic debates. He discusses the situation in India:

WHAT we traditionally understand as political polarization in the form of tough and negative rhetoric on the campaign trail that we assume is exacerbated by social media, is common during election campaigns by political parties. However, this polarization continues to thrive outside of election campaign periods among certain groups and is becoming much more evident in daily conversation on social media. The earlier promise that the internet and social media would offer space to marginalized groups and expand democratic deliberations seems to be giving way to more toxic debates. Similarly, research from the US and Europe suggests that the actors who were empowered in the mass media era remain the same in the digital media era, and hence, the same advantages and disadvantages that exist politically offline are being reproduced online.


Source: The Seminar

Team from NUS Communications and New Media Emerges as Champions for Pitch It 2017

The winners of Pitch It 2017 with the panel of judges from CNM, Visa Inc and BBDO Singapore.

By Deanne Galica

A team consisting of NUS Communications and New Media (CNM) students have emerged as the champion for Pitch It! 2017 after the grand finals held on November 10. Pitch It! 2017 is a tertiary-wide marketing competition organised by the CNM Society. This year, Pitch It! was organised in collaboration with Visa Inc and BBDO. The participating teams put together an integrated marketing campaign to address a challenge posed by Visa Inc.

After an elimination round, Visa Inc chose the top five teams who were then mentored by BBDO to refine their pitches. The challenge posed by VISA was – What can VISA do to shift brand perception from a credit card company to an innovative digital payment company amongst the Millennials?

In their campaign, the teams had to feature a wearable that showcases Visa Inc’s innovative digital payment capabilities.

The Winning Pitch

The winning pitch was a campaign titled #IAMVISA which aims to show how Visa can be a part of every millennial’s lifestyle. Their campaign was inspired by Calvin Klein’s 2016 Fall #mycalvins campaign. #IAMVISA features a playful take on VISA with each letter taking on a personality type –

V for Versatile
I for Intellectual
S for Simplistic
A for Adventurous

Phase One is a social media campaign featuring the different personality types to introduce #IAMVISA and act as a pretext for the next phase of the campaign.

Phase Two is a festival inspired by Art Box where attendees can pay using a temporary tattoo embedded with a VISA chip that flaunts VISA Inc’s digital payment innovation. The festival will be held across two weekends with each day featuring one personality type. Each personality type will be tied to a charity organisations and 10% of proceeds from the festival will be donated to these organisations.

Phase Three incorporates the different personality type into VISA cards with each card featuring a personality type.

The panel of judges consisting of personnel from CNM, VISA Inc and BBDO, unanimously chose the winning pitch. The judges were impressed with the cohesiveness of the winning team’s multi-pronged approach, backed by insightful research.

The Champions

The winning team consists of Cory Cheang Yi Jun, Pang Hui Ping, Taylor Chia Shi-Yen, Isabelle Anastasia Tan Yinn Lyn and Alvarez Brielle Clavel. All of whom are in their second year.

“The greatest difficulty we faced was juggling between school work and the competition,” said Cheang.

The winners walked away with an iPad Mini 4 each.

The Organisers

Behind the success of Pitch It! 2017 is the CNM Society. Led by Jasmine Chong and Deanne Galicia, Pitch It! was the biggest project for the society. The organisers faced setbacks initially with difficulty in securing partnerships with organisations. The partnership with Visa Inc was eventually secured with the help of an alumni.

“The competition was a year in the making. It was a huge undertaking! We reached out to many organisations and faced a lot of rejection. The real work hit us when we finally secured a partner client. From doing school visits to other tertiary institutions to managing communications with all parties involved. We spent countless hours planning everything to the last detail. In the end, it was all worth it because we truly believe Pitch It! is an incredible learning experience. Even [the planning committee] learnt a lot!” said Chong.

Pitch It! 2018 is under way and the planning has already begun. For the next edition, the CNM Society is looking to tap into the Institute of Public Relations Singapore and CNM’s Industry Advisory Council to find a partner client.

More about Pitch It! 2017

Pitch It! 2017 is the third edition of the competition. Past clients include Singapore Press Holdings and Mediacorp. This year, students from National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic and General Assembly participated in the competition. There were 23 teams and a total of 107 participants.

Catch more of Pitch It! 2017 at the official gallery.

Want To Work With CNM?

Excited about what we’re doing at CNM? If you are a company, and want to work with our students, reach out to us by leaving a comment below.

Lu Weiquan Empowers Teaching Through Augmented Reality Tool

Assistant Professor Lu Weiquan describing CNM’s modules to a potential student at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ Open House

Although games popularised the use of Augmented Reality (AR) in our daily lives, its real power lies in its potential to transform education. Which is why Assistant Professor Lu Weiquan’s innovative tool ConjAR- a mobile AR scene-authoring tool for designing AR scenes within an AR environment- received so much attention at the recent National Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL).

A Straits Times article extols ConjAR as a mobile application that:

…runs as a mobile application, and allows users to design and showcase 3D augmented reality scenes without prior training. For example, if a professor wants to explain the brain to his class, he can download a 3D image of a brain from the Internet, and create a model that can be turned and shifted while he is conducting his lesson.

Source: The Straits Times

Another demonstration of how NUS’ Department of Communications and New Media’s teaching and research continues to break new ground in bridging the diverse threads of emerging fields and future work.

Keynote: Dr Raka Shome To Speak at Goldsmith College London

Dr Raka Shome will be delivering a keynote talk- When Postcolonical Studies Meets Media Studies– at Goldsmiths College London, on 27 November 2017.  Her talk is sponsored by MECCSA‘s (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association of, UK) Race and Postcolonial Research Network, Centre for Feminist Research and Critical Race Studies, and Department of Communication, at Goldsmiths College.

Professor Mohan J. Dutta Wins The National Communication Association Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award

The National Communication Association’s Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award is given out to the best health communication researcher, recognizing the lasting contributions made to health communication. The Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award recognizes a significant and original contribution, in the form of a monograph, book, and/or program of research, to the study and application of the field of Health Communication. There are five nomination criteria.  The scholar’s work must have:

  • a significant and long-lasting effect on the field of Health Communication;
  • strong heuristic value;
  • influence over others’ work;
  • originality regarding theory, research, and/or practice; and
  • contributed to the development of Health Communication as a distinct field of study.

The award recognizes Professor Mohan J Dutta’s development of the meta-theoretical framework of the culture-centered approach (CCA), for theorizing, empirically examining, and implementing community-driven participatory health communication interventions for addressing health disparities. The conceptual framework of the CCA explores the ways in which:

  1. social structures constrain and enable the health experiences of individuals, groups and communities,
  2. cultural meanings provide interpretive frames for engaging the social structures within which health meanings are negotiated, and
  3. agency is enacted in the day-to-day communicative practices of individuals, groups and communities that negotiate with the social structures and simultaneously seek to transform them.

The impetus of this research program is on explaining the cultural determinants of health inequalities and the constitutive role of communicative tools of dialogue, participation, and voice in transforming these inequalities. Theoretically, this line of work engage with cultural voices in building health interventions that seek to transform unhealthy social structures, and identify positive cultural resources that promote health and well-being. In attending the role of communication as voice, the CCA changes the paradigm of how health communication interventions are conceptualized, implemented, and evaluated. Specifically, the CCA has been utilized to understand the:

  • roles of health information as resources for individuals, groups and communities,
  • relationship between community and health as an entry point for community participation,
  • roles of local, national and global health policies in creating health experiences at the margins of social systems, and
  • agency of the underserved segments of the population in addressing unhealthy social structures.

The key concepts outlined of the CCA are mapped out in the book, Communicating health: A culture-centered approach published by Polity Press in 2007, along with over 82 publications in the 2012-2017 period in the form of book chapters and journal articles, including articles in top tier journals such as Communication Theory, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Communication, and Qualitative Health Research.  The CCA has served as the basis for health communication intervention research carried out at the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) at the National University of Singapore.

At NUS, CARE has run over thirty culture-centered interventions, producing policy briefs, white papers, media advocacy campaigns, documentary films, photo exhibitions, and 360 degree media interventions, reaching over 3 million audiences spread across 7 countries (including India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Singapore and the United States), and generating a variety of outcomes from design maps for community hospital infrastructures, community forestry projects, irrigation projects, cultural resource centers, solutions to food insecurity, community food gardens, indigenous-owned seed banks, health promotion interventions. In recognition of this work, he currently serves on the World Health Organization (WHO), Europe’s Expert Advisory Council (EAC) on the “Cultural Contexts of Health and Wellbeing” group, and has served as an expert for UNICEF, UNESCO, US National Library of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences. Some recent projects that have been completed engage:

  1. African American communities in inner city Indiana to develop culturally-based grassroots health advocacy and health activism resources directed at improving heart health;
  2. Communities of women who have had a heart attack or stroke in Singapore to develop a culturally-based heart health intervention;
  3. Malay community members who experience risks of heart disease to develop a culture-centered health promotion intervention; and
  4. Community members in the Queenstown area to develop a community-driven, culturally situated health services design plan to guide the Alexandra Hospital planning team.

Similar culture-centered projects carried out with sex workers and transgender populations in India have developed community-based health resources, communication advocacy interventions, and peer leader toolkits. In recognition of the impact of the CCA, the WHO-Europe report on “Cultural Contexts of Health” adopts the CCA as a framework for communicating health. The CCA has been adopted as a framework in over 55 doctoral dissertations. Other teams of scholars have utilized the CCA for intervention development in Israel, United States, Nepal, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Ghana, China, Hong Kong, and Nigeria. Finally, the entry of the CCA in Encyclopedia and Handbook Chapters on health communication attest to the lasting impact that the framework has made on the field.

Student Showcase: Using Data To Present Data-Driven Narratives and Stories

You know better. Data analysis isn’t just a nice graph on a PowerPoint slide

In designing apps and solutions, as well as understanding the information needs of users, data analysis remains an important but neglected process. Often, data is either spread across websites, locked in databases, or arrayed in enormous text files that are too large to obtain and process manually.

Students from the NM3239 RETRIEVE, EXTRACT AND ANALYSE DATA module demonstrate the true value of data analysis by presenting projects that apply statistical software and the data science process to express hidden insights, compelling stories and meaningful visualisations.

Date: 17 Nov 2017
Time: 12:00 NOON – 2:00 PM
Venue: Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Block AS7, #01-19

Online Registration Opening Soon:


Student Showcase: Sungei Road Thieves Market- Deleted

On 10 July 2017, authorities moved to shut down the venerable Sungei Road Thieves Market. The sprawling area had been slated for future development…

Now, join students from the NM3226 LOCATION-SPECIFIC INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES module as they present projects they have been working on in the last semester to capture the traumatic closure of the Sungei Road Thieves Market.

Date: 15 Nov 2017
Time: Projects Presentation: 6:00 PM | Posters Exhibition: 7:30 PM
Venue: Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Block AS1, #03-04

Online Registration:

CNM Dialogues In Comms- The Role of Moral Emotions in Environmental Risk Communication: The Case of Environmental Victim Portrayals

Mr Hang Lu will facilitate a discussion on:

The Role of Moral Emotions in Environmental Risk Communication: The Case of Environmental Victim Portrayals

As both local and global environments experience rapid change, we have seen an increasing number of environmental victims depicted in the media. As a powerful driver of human actions, moral emotions—such as anger, compassion, and guilt—influence how we respond to these portrayals, including which actions we choose to take with regards to victims’ suffering.

In this talk, Hang will discuss the role that moral emotions play in influencing how audience members respond to messages about environmental victims. He will present findings from three experimental studies illustrating how a range of moral emotions, elicited from different sources and at different time points, shape reactions to environmental victims. He will conclude by considering implications of appealing to moral emotions in strategic environmental risk messaging as well as future directions for research in this emerging area.

DATE: Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017
TIME: 4:30 PM
VENUE: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Block AS6, #03-33, CNM Meeting Room

CNM Dialogues In Comms- The communication of and public opinion about risk, science and the environment: a multidimensional approach

Dr Silje Kristiansen will facilitate a discussion on:

The communication of and public opinion about risk, science and the environment: a multidimensional approach

Silje Kristiansen studies risk, science and environmental communication from different perspectives. In her risk coverage studies she applies a multidimensional risk construct to media treatments of different types of risk over long periods of coverage. In her PhD she tracks how the risk coverage developed in the Swiss print media after the nuclear energy accident in Fukushima, and identifies risk coverage attention phases. One of her studies looks at Swiss attitudes to nuclear energy and identifies risk perception as the strongest predictor of public opinion.

In recent work Kristiansen analyses how the US media cover different risk dimensions of different low-carbon emitting energy technologies including nuclear, solar, wind and fracking. In her presentation she will also show her research on public attitudes towards science, and on how ‘digital-born’ media differ from legacy media in their coverage of climate change.

DATE: Monday, 13 Nov 2017
TIME: 3:30 PM
VENUE: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Block AS6, #03-33, CNM Meeting Room