PCST Stories: Jan Riise, Susi (Sturzenegger) Varvayanis, & Toss Gascoigne

5 March 2019

We invited people who have attended PCST conferences to tell us about the connections and collaborations that have grown from attending these conferences. These are some of the responses we have received.

Jan Riise, Manager for Engagement, Mistra Urban Futures, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
“I bring greetings from Africa, often pitied, never encouraged,” were the opening words of a plenary presentation at the Barcelona PCST conference in 2004. The speaker from Uganda then told us about the challenges – how to communicate meteorological forecasts that certainly would be good for the farmers, in a country with 43 languages. The talk really broadened my perspectives, basically in a few sentences that went directly to my heart.

Susi (Sturzenegger) Varvayanis, Executive Director, BEST Program, Graduate School, Cornell University, United States
Presenting at PCST 10 Bridges to the Future in Malmø, Sweden, not only changed the course of my career, it provided me a bridge to my own future as an advocate to train PhDs and postdocs in better two-way science communication with broad audiences. Bruce Lewenstein, specifically, altered my trajectory.

Toss Gascoigne, Visiting Fellow, College of Science, Australian National University
My first PCST conference was in Montreal in 1994.  It was a whole new world of science communication, with the deficit approach coming under serious challenge. Twenty five years later, all the connections are coming together in a new book documenting the emergence of modern science communication in 39 countries.  The conversations across the PCST community have turned an idea into reality, and helped identify the best people to write individual chapters. Thanks, PCST!

Susi (Sturzenegger) Varvayanis, Executive Director, BEST Program, Cornell University