Author: Wiebke Finkler – University of Otago, New Zealand

High quality multimedia content and strategic planning processes lie at the heart of successful science communication. But what are the elements that make effective creative content and what are the strategic steps to implement a successful science communication initiative? The current paper focuses on the application of marketing communication to contribute towards more effective science communication, set in the context of uncontrolled explosive growth of the global whale watching industry and failure of widespread sustainable practices. The lack of sustainability in whale watching is, in part, due to poor uptake of science and ineffective public communication. The discipline, structure and focus on changing behaviour that characterize social marketing provide important lessons for making science communication in the whale watching setting more effective.

The paper presents the findings of an empirical video-based whale watching science communication study focusing on sustainable whale watching practices. It proposes a strategic marketing-based science communication format and process that can contribute towards the development of a visual rhetoric for science communication. The research demonstrates the effectiveness of well-developed science communication videos to influence people’s expectations regarding close encounters and influence responsible behavioural intentions. Marketing-based science communication videos present an educational management tool for the whale watching industry by advocating sustainable practices to stakeholders, increasing awareness about impacts and managing visitor’s expectations. Informed members of the public, as key whale watching stakeholders, form a significant potential compliance management opportunity that can contribute towards the sustainable development of the industry. More effective science communication focusing on communication and behavioural outcomes in the whale watching setting, and wider science communication research field, therefore, is a critical challenge.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Building a theoretical basis for science communication

Author: Wiebke Finkler – University of Otago, New Zealand

Bronwyn Bevan – University of Washington
Wolfgang Goede – International Science Journalist, WFSJ, TELI
Robert Inglis – Jive Media
Eric Jensen – University of Warwick

Despite society’s increasing dependence upon – and increasing need for – scientific solutions to global and local challenges, the diffusion, understanding, and use of science in society remains an area that is daunting and impenetrable. Use of the arts can be a powerful strategy to effectively communicate the understanding and use of scientific information to increase informed-decision making.

Research demonstrates that intellectual benefits of the arts include the development of general thinking skills and problem-solving abilities, and arts experiences help to develop a more complex network of connections in the brain. The arts engage audiences physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Increasingly, science communicators around the world are using an art-based approach to science communication through mediums such as theatre, music, parody, comics, filmmaking, photography, poetry, and storytelling to engage diverse audiences. Using the arts to effectively communicate science and advance society (not to mention the plethora of possible outcomes such as improved environments and health) is a multi-layered, innovative, culturally and linguistically appropriate approach to communicating science. This panel will include geographically and methodologically diverse examples of the use of the arts to successfully communicate science.

Further, no dedicated interest group for science engagement through the arts exists within the International Public Communication of Science and Technology network. This roundtable intends to create interest in such a group by addressing both theoretical and practical contributions of the arts to science communication, with the goal of establishing a new PCST interest group. This will be a new and unique development in the history of our organisation.

  • Wiebke Finkler (New Zealand) Filmmaking, soundscapes and visual rhetoric.
  • Wolfgang Goede (Germany) Fiction, drama, cabaret.
  • Robert Inglis (South Africa) Music (hip hop and rap), comics and film.
  • Eric Jensen (UK) Impact evaluation, performance, social media.
    Bronwyn Bevan (USA) Parody, cabaret, performance art.

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices

Author: Wiebke Finkler – University of Otago, New Zealand

This is a practical and hands-on workshop for science communicators wanting to engage in multimedia outreach and learn how to create engaging content for public communication, with a particular focus on video production and storytelling. While the workshop focuses on science communication filmmaking the principles can be applied to photography, podcasts/vodcasts and wider online and social media content.

The workshop (aimed at beginners) covers 1. elements of effective science communication content, 2. introduces filmmaking (including storytelling and narrative development, basic camera and editing techniques), and 3. involves hands-on exercises for participants to practice with own devices (note: bring your own tablet, phone or camera). Please note that examples will be demonstrated using Apple devices such as iPad and iPhones.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Workshop
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Teaching science communication