All author's publications are listed below.
Traditionally, the Royal Institution's Christmas Lectures have always adopted a deficit model for communication, with one or two invited scientists giving lectures to an audience present at the Royal Institution (Ri) and, since 1936, an audience watching the lectures on television at home. As trends in public engagement have tended towards more dialogue or participatory models, the Ri has made efforts to create a programme of events around the lectures: extending the experience outside of the lecture theatre and giving audiences more opportunities to experience live events and participate in discourse. In this paper, we explore data collected as part of an 18 month evaluation of the Christmas Lectures and their associated events. We focus on data collected at events designed to create live and interactive experiences beyond the lectures and evaluate these participatory approaches. The paper shares this learning to enhance the extension of traditional science communication towards science participation.
This small-scale study aims to understand what different environmental organisations are doing to engage people with brownfield sites in the U.K. Interviews with staff members from different environmental organisations found a wide range of initiatives to be in practice, including collaboration with other organisations and local schools and involving volunteer groups with maintenance of the sites. Working with volunteers and partner organisations and the management of sites were often identified as essential contributors to the success of projects. Interesting themes which arose, including the lack of demographic data and issues engaging with developers, could act as springboards for further studies.
The drive for impact from research projects presents a dilemma for science communication researchers and practitioners — should public engagement be regarded only as a mechanism for providing evidence of the impact of research or as itself a form of impact? This editorial describes the curation of five commentaries resulting from the recent international conference
‘Science in Public: Research, Practice, Impact’. The commentaries reveal the issues science communicators may face in implementing public engagement with science that has an impact; from planning and co-producing projects with impact in mind, to organising and operating activities which meet the needs of our publics, and finally measuring and evaluating the effects on scientists and publics in order to ‘capture impact’.
Policy-makers, researchers and the general public seem to agree that there is a need for evidence-based policies. Here we report on a case study which explores environmental policy-making at the national and local levels in one European country, Portugal. The case study focuses on understanding how that scientific evidence is used and valued by policy-makers. Our data show that in Portugal there are opportunities at national and local level for scientific evidence to influence environmental policy-making and there is a general belief amongst policy-makers that scientific evidence is essential for the development of solid and trustworthy policies. However, challenges remain, including difficulties in working together and challenges imposed by the policy cycle. The bridge may not yet be fully constructed, but in Portugal, policy-makers largely recognise the need for scientific evidence and the research community is beginning to reach out, looking for ways to connect with the policy community.