Little lessons in science communication – A game of cards

Little lessons in science communication – A game of cards

Author: Brian Trench – Dublin City University, Ireland

Birte Fähnrich – Zeppelin University, Germany
Maja Horst – University of Copenhagen

Suggestions and concerns about improving relations between research and practice in science communication are part of the normal diet at PCST conferences. These events have long been an important platform for forming and deepening such relations both at conceptual and community levels. Presentations on evaluation of science events, but also coffee-break exchanges between researchers and practitioners, are among the many ways in which research-practice relations are stimulated and developed.

Many individuals straddle these activities and this workshop is presented by three researcher-trainer-practitioners. As part of a wider, necessary exploration of the tools and methods to make research and practice accessible, relevant and open to each other, the workshop demonstrates and seeks to deepen a method for presenting theoretical insights in forms that make them memorable, and available to science communication practice.

In this workshop, we will present key principles and insights in short phrases, which can be used to stimulate discussion of guidelines to practice. We will distribute a sample of such phrases on cards to the workshop participants, interpret and order them and add to them in similar manner. Groups will be given ten prepared cards, will select five of these, and will add five of their own. In an iterative and interactive process, we will select and re-shuffle the cards to produce either a succinct summary of science communication wisdom, or a representation of many possible and contradictory approaches to science communication.

Sample cards: The public is never the problem; There is no such thing as a dumb question; Controversy can be a support to science communication; Coffee and chance are key components of scientific discovery; Science gains from knowing and acknowledging its limits; The public has a right to know how science really works; Scientific culture is more than a set of numbers.

Presentation type: Workshop
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Applying science communication research to practice