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Jun 10, 2022 Article
Towards the reflective science communication practitioner

by Tessa Roedema, Virgil Rerimassie, J. E. W. Broerse and J. F. H. Kupper

The practice of science communication is fundamentally changing. This requires science communication practitioners to continuously adapt their practice to an ever-changing ecosystem and highlights the importance of reflective practice for science communication. In this study, we supported 21 science communication practitioners in developing a reflective practice. Our study shows that reflective practice enabled practitioners in becoming aware of their own stance towards science or assumptions regarding audiences (single-loop learning), underlying and sometimes conflicting values or worldviews present in science communication situations (double-loop learning), and facilitated practitioners to adapt their practice accordingly. Triple-loop learning, allowing practitioners to fundamentally rethink and transform their mode of science communication, was less observed. We argue that reflective practice contributes to opening-up public conversations on science — including a conversation on underlying values, worldviews, and emotions, next to communicating scientific facts.

Volume 21 • Issue 04 • 2022 • Special Issue: Responsible science communication across the globe