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Filter by keyword: Social inclusion

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Nov 07, 2022 Commentary
Exploring the politics of science communication research: looking at science communication from a social justice perspective

by Emily Dawson, Stephen Hughes, Simon J. Lock and Michel Wahome

What can we say about equity, diversity and inclusion in science communication research over the past 20 years? This is a thorny question because of course we want to be constructive, to recognise change and to respect those whose hard-won research on equity issues has meant so much to many of us. At the same time, it is impossible — given what we know through our research — not to take a critical stance. We critique the status quo of science communication research from a social justice perspective and reflect on how we might change, perhaps bringing what has been marginal (and indeed the marginalised) into the core of science communication research, practice and policy.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Oct 10, 2022 Conference Review
“Be the change” — how Cheltenham Science Festival used a central theme to centre social change within the festival

by Gary Kerr, Emma Whittle and Marieke Navin

“Be the change” (BTC) was the theme for Cheltenham Science Festival. BTC set out to empower audiences as individuals and as a collective to enact positive change across a wide range of global issues linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We examine the role of theming within festivals and analyse how BTC centred social change within the science festival. We conclude by noting that science festivals do not have to have science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) themes, but can instead be themed around global social issues.

Volume 21 • Issue 06 • 2022

Sep 21, 2022 Conference Review
#ecsite2022 — a festive and reflexive gathering of science communicators

by Vanessa Mignan and Marina Joubert

The 2022 Ecsite conference took place in Heilbronn, Germany, from 2–4 June after two years of virtual meetings due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This review presents some highlights of this event, including two memorable keynote talks by disability activist Sinéad Burke and author/educator Lucy Hawking.

Volume 21 • Issue 06 • 2022

Sep 14, 2022 Book Review
Together in diversity: insights and wisdom from LGBTQ+ people working in STEM

by Andrea Bandelli

“The Queer Variable” is an edited collection of 40 interviews with LGBTQ+ people working in STEM. The interviews reveal the breadth of issues related to exclusion, discrimination, prejudice that LGBTQ+ people face; but also a remarkable progress and advancement of the whole STEM field to be more diverse, inclusive and equitable. The book is an empowering and enlightening reading for all those who are professionally active in STEM.

Volume 21 • Issue 06 • 2022

Aug 29, 2022 Article
Vaccination rates in Europe are not associated with online media intensity

by Catarina Luís, Veronica Romina Di Marzo, Mandeep Kaur, Christos Argyropoulos, Declan Devane, Fiona Anne Stewart, George Antoniou, Greet Hendrickx, Helena Hervius Askling, Margot Hellemans, Miriam Cohen, Orly Spivak, Pierre Van Damme, Rebecca Jane Cox, Sirkka Vene, Sofie Sibia, Zoi Dorothea Pana, Ole Olesen and on behalf of VACCELERATE Consortium

To map the public information about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine trials in Europe, we have compiled an inventory of online communication materials from official sources (e.g., governments, public agencies, and NGOs) via directed online research. While information for the general public was abundant across Europe, we found a large variation in number, type and target audiences among countries. Little or no information was found for population groups that are typically underrepresented in vaccine clinical trials. Materials about clinical trials and trial participation were also limited. Interestingly, higher number of media materials was not reflected in higher national vaccination rates.

Volume 21 • Issue 05 • 2022

Aug 16, 2022 Article
Making science communication inclusive: an exploratory study of choices, challenges and change mechanisms in the United States from an emerging movement

by Sunshine Menezes, Kayon Murray-Johnson, Hollie Smith, Hannah Trautmann and Mehri Azizi

This qualitative study explores perspectives of U.S.A.-based science communication researchers and practitioners who attended a symposium focused on advancing inclusive science communication (ISC). ISC is a growing global movement that aims to center equity, inclusion, and marginalized perspectives in science communication. Findings underscore the complexity of systemic barriers to ISC, the critical need for resource sharing and network building, and the importance of evaluation frameworks. The authors also highlight critical dialogue as a strategic tool that might help support intentional, reciprocal, and reflexive practices in science communication.

Volume 21 • Issue 05 • 2022

Jun 10, 2022 Commentary
Responsible science communication in Africa: rethinking drivers of policy, Afrocentricity and public engagement

by Elizabeth Rasekoala

The EU-funded RETHINK Project has demonstrated the critical need for transformational pathways in how science communicators navigate the increasingly challenging landscape of the field, in an era of growing public distrust, the expansion of online ‘mis-information’ digital platforms, and the resulting disconnection between science communicators and the general public. This Commentary seeks to locate, contextualise, and interrogate the good practice outcomes and recommendations of the RETHINK Project within the African regional scenario, and within the contexts, challenges and opportunities that exist therein. To achieve this, the author argues, African science communicators must actively pursue a radical and explicitly transformational agenda of intellectual Afrocentricity, the decolonisation of their practices and programmes, and address the multiple gaps inherent across the policy, practice, research, resources, and capacity-building divides on the continent. The prospects for the delivery of this agenda are further elaborated in a transformative and re-defined — ‘SMART’ Framework for Science Communication & Public Engagement in Africa.

Volume 21 • Issue 04 • 2022 • Special Issue: Responsible science communication across the globe

Jun 10, 2022 Commentary
Commentary: rethinking iteratively (from Australia)

by Joan Leach

The invitation to ReThink science engagement is irresistible and timely. And that rethinking will be informed by the location in which its done. While ‘speaking for’ wide swaths of the world, in this case, Australia and its region, would be meaningless and probably not terribly useful, the call to ReThink science engagement with this place in mind is encouraging and welcome. The following commentary, then, will focus on what rethinking science engagement might look like from Australia with the guiding frame of “responsible science communication” at hand and some of the core concepts of ReThink at the fore — reflection, co-creation, and openness in science engagement. To add a counterpoint to the ReThink projects core concepts, I briefly suggest some further concepts to ‘trouble’ easy interpretations of approaches to science communication — reflexivity, co-production, and science communication for the public good. Taken together, all of these concepts provide a useful frame for some of the major issues and opportunities for science communication in our region but also highlight the tensions in current approaches to science engagement. These tensions are worth struggling over and unpacking in relation to global differences and aims for science engagement.

Volume 21 • Issue 04 • 2022 • Special Issue: Responsible science communication across the globe

Jun 10, 2022 Article
Levelling the playing field: lessons from sport on re-framing science engagement as a benefit to the individual

by Lindsay Keith and Gary Kerr

The workforces of the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) industries suffer from skills gaps and lack diversity. Science engagement activities often try to solve these problems through targeting audiences under-represented in the STEM workforces. There is limited data, however, to suggest that these engagement efforts are successful in translating into more diverse workforces. We draw upon Unicef’s ‘Sport for Development’ model and propose a new conceptual framework: ‘Science Engagement for Good’. This frames science engagement activities around the benefits to individuals, families and communities, rather than the benefits to STEM industries, the economy or society at large.

Volume 21 • Issue 04 • 2022 • Special Issue: Responsible science communication across the globe