Systemic support for scientists’ communication and engagement

Systemic support for scientists’ communication and engagement

Author: Brooke Smith – The Kavli Foundation, United States

John Besley – Michigan State University
Marina Joubert – Stellenbosch University
Joan Leach – Australian National University
Bruce Lewenstein – Cornell University
Eric Marshall – The Kavli Foundation

Many scientists want to connect with the public, but their efforts to do so are not always easy or effective. Visionary programs and institutions are leading the way identifying the support needed to enable scientists’ connections with the public. However, the current appetite by — and demand for — scientists to do this exceeds the capacity of those who facilitate quality communication and engagement efforts. More can be done to ensure that those who support scientists are networked, sharing best practices, and supported by a reliable infrastructure.

Between December 2017 and May 2018, U.S. based philanthropic foundations will convene a series of small workshops to explore the entire system of people who support scientists’ engagement and communication efforts in order to explore how this system can be most effective and sustainable. Four workshops will focus on the following communities and institutions of support: communication trainers, universities, scientific societies, and facilitators of public engagement. The discussions will examine where each system is thriving, the limits people within the system face and what can be done to ensure their efforts are commensurate with the demand for quality communication and engagement support.

This roundtable aims to connect the ideas and findings from these U.S. focused workshops with international perspectives and experiences. Speakers will include both workshop participants and international leaders. Discussion is intended to share ideas, highlight strategies that have worked across continents, and spark cross cultural collaborations to collectively support scientists – all across the research enterprise – to engage and communicate.

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

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Comparing science communication across cultures