Author: Edward Duca – University of Malta, Malta
- Clayton Cutajar – Esplora Interactive Science Centre, Malta
- Siddharth Kankaria – National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India
- Heather Rea – The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Susan Wallace – Wellcome Genome Campus, United Kingdom
The Science Communication profession has expanded worldwide with different theories and approaches being developed across continents. Various institutional and country-wide efforts are being encouraged, through initiatives such as the EU’s embedding of institutionalised RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) and the UK’s REF (Research Excellence Framework) programme, to increase research impact, societal involvement, and best practices in the field of public engagement with science.
Public engagement is a field with many entry points and career paths for individuals. Science communication scholars and practitioners come from a variety of backgrounds. As the importance and value of public engagement becomes more widely recognised and professionalised, it is important that the institutions who already have established programmes support those who are less experienced in the field of Science Communication. One mechanism for this support is institutional mentorship, either for public engagement as a whole or in one particular aspect of a public engagement programme. A mentoring relationship with someone more experienced in the field can advance an individual’s self-confidence, knowledge and career. This relationship can provide impartial encouragement for the mentee institution, and offers the mentor institution the opportunity to reflect on their own practice. Such mentorship needs to embrace and learn from cultural differences across fields, institutions and locations, in order to achieve the intended impact.
This session will discuss the importance of mentorship to increase the research impact, societal participation of public engagement with science.. The mentee-mentorship relationship will be discussed across cultural boundaries in Europe and India on a personal and institutional level, emphasising the challenges and benefits to all involved. The variety of informal and formal mentoring relationships will also be emphasised through the speaker’s case studies that reflect a variety of cultural norms and practices which session speakers will develop through personal experiences in EU projects and other collaborations.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.
Presentation type: Roundtable discussion