Rockefeller Centre hosts ‘Theory-meets-Practice’ Conference

11 December 2017

After a period of rapid expansion, science communication has arrived at something of a crossroads. Where to next?  The aim of the conference was to provide a fresh focus.

In proposing the event to the Rockefeller Foundation, convenor Jenni Metcalfe set out 4 aims:

  • Determine how science communication research can better inform the practice of science communication
  • Ensure that researchers appreciate and respond to the problems science communication practitioners are facing
  • Bring together science communication researchers and practitioners to work jointly on projects aiming to solve some of the world’s intractable issues
  • Form a global science communication think-tank to develop a theoretical framework for effective science communication research and practice.

The Bellagio Centre hosted a four-day meeting at Lake Como, allowing a lively and intensive discussion among the 22 participants.

Organisers hoped to re-boot a discussion on the direction of science communication.  Early feedback is positive:  “I want to thank you for connecting me back to the community. I had been drifting away somewhat… but this made me feel like I was once again amongst my tribe.”

The first outputs of this intensive conversation will be two major sessions at the PCST Conference in Dunedin: a roundtable discussion, and a series of linked papers to summarise the Bellagio discussions and look ahead to future activities.