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Sep 22, 2014 Conference Review
PCST 2014

by Helen Featherstone

The PCST conference attracts a substantial number of science communication academics and practitioners from all over the world. The conference is stimulating and refreshing but the size of it means that quality control is challenging for the organisers. This review highlights areas of both strengths and weaknesses whilst also making recommendations to the PCST committee for PCST 2016. The committee are encouraged to further strengthen the academic/practitioner combination and the international nature of the event. However, they are also recommended to ensure that work presented is of high quality with clear purposes and strong evaluative evidence presented.

Volume 13 • Issue 03 • 2014

Oct 30, 2009 Article
Often overlooked: formative evaluation in the development of ScienceComics

by Emma Weitkamp and Helen Featherstone

Formative evaluation should play a key role in the development of a science communication project or initiative. Such research is vital to understanding the needs and interests of the audience or participants; meeting these needs and interests helps ensure the project’s success. However, there can be a temptation to plough ahead without undertaking adequate formative evaluation. Using ScienceComics ( as a case study, this article explores both the challenges and benefits of using formative evaluation to guide project development. It focuses on the actors involved in the formative stages and the impacts these actors had on the final outputs. This evidence is used to develop practical guidance on integrating formative evaluation right from the start.

Volume 8 • Issue 04 • 2009