Science communication and gender – Challenges, opportunities and stereotypes

Science communication and gender – Challenges, opportunities and stereotypes

Author: Merryn McKinnon – Australian National University, Australia

Christine O’Connell – Stony Brook University

Does gender matter when it comes to science communication? Does the development of science communication skills influence men differently to women? This session will first present preliminary findings of an international research collaboration between the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University and the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University. This collaboration is exploring the potential impacts of gender on the development of science communication skills. One study looked at how communication skills such as empathy and focus, two cornerstones of effective communication practice, manifest differently in men and women. Another involved focus groups and workshops for women in STEM, identifying issues and solutions, and exploring exercises that target self-perception and reframe gender stereotypes.

This session will examine current perceptions and stereotypes in science communication and demonstrate the interactive and engaging exercises used in these studies. These exercises are drawn from well-established improvisation for theatre techniques and grounded in science communication theory and practice. Participants will gain an understanding of their own gendered communication stereotypes, how they may manifest in practice, and perception of others. This workshop will highlight how to make effective choices in how we communicate, as well as identify strategies for empowering effective communication. This workshop is recommended for any science communicator, teacher or trainer of science communication.

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

Presentation type: Visual talk
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Influencing policies through science communication