Co-creating science communication – How important is facilitation for “democratisation’?

Co-creating science communication – How important is facilitation for “democratisation’?

Author: Jenny Rock – University of Otago, New Zealand

Ali Rogers – U Otago

Contemporary science communication aims to include society’s stories about science, including its contextualisations of and contributions to science. If we really value such collaborative contribution to the representation of science, how can we help enable it in more authoritative spaces, beyond the casual arena of street-based conversation and social media commenting?

Creative representation including visual narratives can provide effective avenues for the public to document and share perspectives and knowledge. Co-creating formal exhibitions of such material could build collaborative practice in science communication and produce constructive mutual (democratised) interactions. Such interactions could develop between participants from the collective ‘public’, to the professional expert, and the formal institution.

What might such ‘enabled co-creation’ look like? And how might it be streamlined to overcome our perpetual constraints of time and money? We share the design, implementation and assessment of a platform for co-creating science communication exhibits. Two case studies are used as illustrations: (1) an exhibition co-created between a citizen water quality monitoring group and a postgraduate student in science communication; and (2) exhibitions of a community arts project on biodiversity conservation management. Broadly, we identified multiple challenges and successes of the disrupted hierarchies associated with co-creation. Specifically, our results contribute to a putative framework of critical attributes for platforms facilitating co-created science communication exhibitions.

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

Presentation type: Show, tell and talk
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Applying science communication research to practice