Be there: The importance of presence in a digital era – Stand-up and public seminars

Be there: The importance of presence in a digital era – Stand-up and public seminars

Author: Jenny Björkman – Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Sweden

Fritte & Jenny Fritzson & Björkman – Oslipat/Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Alexander Gerber – Rhine-Waal University
Rebecka Lennartsson – Stockholms stadsmuseum
Duncan Needham – History & Policy
Lotta Tomasson – Vetenskap & Allmänhet
Nathalie Wierdak – Otago Museum

We live in an increasingly digitalized society. Social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, have become established parts of science communication. The multiway flow of information is instantaneous, continuous, ever-present. As a contrast, in this round table discussion, we focus on the importance of physical presence in our digital era.

The need for analogue dialogue has not decreased in today’s society. On the contrary – given the speed and spread of digital communication, it is essential that we at times allow ourselves to slow down in order to discuss complex ideas and views with the public. Based on examples and cases, and a report from three Swedish research-funding agencies, a panel will discuss how this can be done.

We will hear about researchers organising seminars for policymakers in order to learn from the past (History & Policy, UK); a museum that gathers researchers, politicians and citizens in order to discuss urban challenges live (Stockholm City Museum, Sweden); and a non-profit organisation working to foster dialogue between researchers and the public (VA, Public & Science, Sweden). The spotlight will also be on an event where stand-up comedians and researchers together take the stage to discuss different themes and learn something new (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond & Oslipat, Sweden). Finally a science museum will discuss their way of engage young people in a dialogue about the science of climate change and real vs virtual experiences. (Otago Museum, NZ).

The discussion will be lead by Alexander Gerber, Rhine-Waal University.

All these initiatives are based on physical presence and interaction between researchers and their audience, for example school pupils, politicians the general public. In order to tackle difficult topics, fake news, misunderstandings of research and science and even knowledge resistance, we present four ways of meeting the audience live with facts, knowledge and a keen ear.

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

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