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Jun 10, 2024 Practice Insight
Measuring the impacts of participatory citizen science: lessons from the WeCount sustainable mobility project

by Ana Margarida Sardo, Sophie Laggan, Laura Fogg-Rogers, Elke Franchois, Giovanni Maccani, Kris Vanherle and Enda Hayes

WeCount was designed to empower citizens in five case studies across Europe to take a leading role in the production of data, evidence, knowledge and solutions for local sustainable mobility. This practice insight aims to explore the suitability and value of citizen science to address sustainable mobility and sustainable transport issues. The evaluation showed that WeCount was able to reach and sustain engagement with broad demographics in society and highlighted the importance of co-design in making citizen science enjoyable and empowering. Statistical significance was found: the more a citizen enjoyed their time, the more likely they were to state they would continue working with the data beyond the project. Moreover, WeCount citizens reported that participation led to action and/or changes in behaviours. While the numbers are modest (24 individual actions by around 10% of participants), this is an important, measurable outcome.

Volume 23 • Issue 05 • 2024

Mar 28, 2022 Article
The Christmas Lectures: extending the experience outside the lecture theatre

by Hannah Little, Laura Fogg-Rogers and Ana Margarida Sardo

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.

Volume 21 • Issue 02 • 2022 • Special Issue Participatory science communication for transformation (PCST2020+1)

Sep 30, 2019 Commentary
Catch 22 — improving visibility of women in science and engineering for both recruitment and retention

by Laura Fogg-Rogers and Laura Hobbs

There is a significant under-representation of women in STEM which is damaging societal progress for democratic, utilitarian, and equity reasons. However, changing stereotypes in STEM requires a solution denied by the problem — more visible female role models. Science communicators are critical to curate the conditions to bypass this Catch 22. We propose that enhancing self-efficacy for female scientists and engineers to mentor others will generate more supportive workplaces. Similarly, enhancing self-efficacy for public engagement improves the visibility of diverse female role models for young girls. These social connections will ultimately improve the science capital of girls and other minorities in STEM.

Volume 18 • Issue 04 • 2019

Sep 09, 2019 Practice Insight
Science live — articulating the aims and ethos of science event practitioners in the U.S.A. and U.K.

by Laura Fogg-Rogers, Ben Wiehe, Dane Comerford, Julie Fooshee and John Durant

Live science events engage publics with science in a social context. This article articulates the aims and ethos of this growing sector within a research context. Semi-structured interviews (N=13) and focus groups (N=77) were conducted with event practitioners (both professional and volunteers) in the U.S.A. and U.K.. Inductive thematic analysis indicated that event producers aim to raise awareness of and professionalism in the sector. In particular, they seek to develop research into long-term impacts of events for both audiences and practitioners.

Volume 18 • Issue 04 • 2019

Sep 20, 2017 Commentary
Does being human influence science and technology?

by Laura Fogg-Rogers

This article addresses two major questions about women and science. Firstly, the commentary looks at the ways science and technology are discussed and represented all around us in society. Secondly, I ask whether this matters. The defining issue is therefore whether or not being human affects the type of science and technology that is conducted and valued within our society. By addressing these questions in science communication, we can add much to the debate about gender diversity and affirmative action being portrayed in our media and culture.

Volume 16 • Issue 04 • 2017

Mar 13, 2017 Book Review
Spotlighting shared goals for science education and communication

by Laura Fogg-Rogers

van den Sanden and Vries curate reflections and insights about the shared goals, practices and processes which bring together academics and practitioners in science education and communication. The book spotlights areas of productive overlap but is just the beginning for meaningful collaboration.

Volume 16 • Issue 01 • 2017

Sep 29, 2015 Commentary
Beyond dissemination — science communication as impact

by Laura Fogg-Rogers, Ana Margarida Sardo and Ann Grand

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’.

Volume 14 • Issue 03 • 2015