Successful science communication about problems that cross sectors

Successful science communication about problems that cross sectors

Author: Nancy Edwards – University of Ottawa, Canada

Maja Bertram – University of Southern Denmark
David Lubans – University of Newcastle
Ronald Plotnikoff – Research Centre of Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle
Susan Roelofs – University of Ottawa

Science communication is essential to address complex health and social problems requiring intersectoral solutions. But many research studies concentrate on single sectors and yield sector-centric communication. This type of science communication may considerably limit the perceived utility and uptake of scientific findings from one sector to another at all levels of government (local, state, and national).

This forum will present four programmatic research initiatives that have traversed this intersectoral territory in science communication. Each will be presented as an intersectoral policy case study. The first addressed municipal and national physical activity policies in six European countries. The second mobilized district-level leadership hubs to tackle policy action in health sub-sectors for the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica and three Sub-Saharan African countries. The third used data from epidemiological and ergonomic studies in the health sector to recommend changes to national building codes in Canada with the aim of reducing the risk of falls and injuries. The fourth focused on making physical activity an easier choice for youth and adults in Australia. It has involved extensive work educational, sports, and recreation sectors.

Using these four case studies, the aim of these grouped talks is to consider challenges and barriers encountered in communicating science across sectors, and successful strategies for intersectoral science communication. The perspectives of target audiences that need to be considered, and the arguments and counter-arguments that surfaced and influenced science communication across sectors will be discussed. Recommendations for science communication about policy change across sectors will be presented.

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

Presentation type: Grouped paper
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Influencing policies through science communication