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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.