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Jun 14, 2019 Article
How science, technology and innovation can be placed in broader visions — Public opinions from inclusive public engagement activities

by Kei Kano, Mitsuru Kudo, Go Yoshizawa, Eri Mizumachi, Makiko Suga, Naonori Akiya, Kuniyoshi Ebina, Takayuki Goto, Masayuki Itoh, Ayami Joh, Haruhiko Maenami, Toshifumi Minamoto, Mikihiko Mori, Yoshitaka Morimura, TAMAKI Motoki, Akie Nakayama and Katsuya Takanashi

This study investigates how different segments of the public, with varying degrees of interest in S&T, could formulate opinions on a broader vision and the role they think STI should play in Japanese society through 2020 (Tokyo's Olympic and Paralympic year) and toward 2030. We conducted nine inclusive public engagement activities. Results indicated that the broad public opinions did not completely overlap with officials' opinions, a value of “open and appropriate” was mainly found from the unengaged public, and the visions and values based on their opinions could well be incorporated into the official document. Engaging the disinterested in S&T remains an issue.

Volume 18 • Issue 03 • 2019 • Special Issue: Communication at the Intersection of Science and Politics, 2019

Nov 28, 2011 Article
Scientists' attitudes toward a dialogue with the public: a study using "science cafes"

by Eri Mizumachi, Kentaro Matsuda, Kei Kano, Masahiro Kawakami and Kazuto Kato

Currently, science is developing rapidly and its influence on society is more significant than ever. This is all the more reason for today’s scientists to interact with the general public. To design effective science communication activities, we must understand scientists’ motivations and barriers to publicly communicating science. In this study, we interviewed 19 early-career scientists who had participated in science cafes in Japan. From these interviews, we identified five factors leading to their reluctance to participate in science cafes: 1) troublesome or time-consuming; 2) pressure to be an appropriate science representative; 3) outside the scope of their work; 4) could not perceive any benefit; and 5) apprehension about dialogue with the public. Among these factors, apprehension about dialogue may be the clearest reflection of the scientists’ underlying feelings about this form of communication and an indicator of more intrinsic barriers to engaging in science cafes.

Volume 10 • Issue 04 • 2011