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Filter by keyword: Social inclusion

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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 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 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

Mar 28, 2022 Practice Insight
Valuing visitors' knowledge: the experience of Association Traces at the crossroads between science communication, participatory activities and social inclusion

by Matteo Merzagora, Claudia Aguirre Rios, Paul Boniface, Clementine Bricout and Celine Martineau

In this “practice insight” we present a series of experiences run by Association Traces, injecting participatory approaches into science engagement activities by valuing the knowledge of the public rather than focusing on their ignorance. Starting from the observation that a sort of hybridization is occurring between cultural activities and public engagement with science on one side, and co-creation and participatory activities on the other, we provide some insight on the features of each approach. Examples are then used to highlight the potential value of this hybridization: as a way of making participatory activity more recognizable and accessible to a wide audience; to ensure that scientists have a professional interest in engaging in the communication activity; to raise a sense of ownership and empowerment in the audience, etc. These examples will eventually show that participation may lead to science communication practices that are socially-inclusive and/or productive for research, and ideally both.

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

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Agenda 2030's, “Leave no one behind”, in citizen science?

by Madeleine Montanari, Liesbet Jacobs, Mordechai Haklay, Felix Kwabena Donkor and Maria Rosa Mondardini

Citizen science (CS) is promoted as a useful practice for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this contribution we explore how CS aligns to the SDGs overarching pledge to ‘Leave no one behind’. We propose a framework to evaluate exclusionary processes in CS. We interlink three dimensions of CS inspired by existing CS typologies with five factors underpinning exclusionary processes. With this, we are able to situate existing literature on various exclusionary effects in CS within a structured framework. We hope this contribution sparks a discussion and inspires practitioners’ reflections on a more inclusive practice in CS.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Gamification for social perception: introducing scientific literacy to dabblers in citizen science

by Emilio Velis, Diego Torres and Gino Caballero

Understanding scientific concepts is a crucial factor in motivating dabblers at the start of co-created citizen science projects. This article describes PACMAC, a card-based cooperative card game aimed at introducing dabblers to hypothesis and falsifiability concepts through the visualization of a social perception map. The game was evaluated in five neighborhoods from El Salvador. The results showed that PACMAP is approachable for participants of different demographics to develop an understanding of the concepts of hypotheses and falsifiability.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Engaged Citizen Social Science or the public participation in social science research

by Rita Campos, José Monteiro and Cláudia Carvalho

Acknowledging the consolidation of citizen science, this paper aims to foster a collective debate on two visible gaps of the field. First, how to overcome the limited participation of social sciences and humanities in the broader field of citizen science, still dominated by natural sciences. Second, how to develop a citizen social science that allows for an active participation of citizens and for a critical engagement with contemporary societies. The authors coordinate a state-sponsored program of scientific dissemination within a Portuguese research institution and this paper intends to lay the groundwork for a future project of Citizen Social Science based on a new concept of “engaged citizen social science”.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Mar 15, 2021 Article
Science communication for social inclusion: exploring science & art approaches

by Ana Matias, Andreia Dias, Cláudia Gonçalves, Paulo Nuno Vicente and Ana Lúcia Mena

Engaging communities at risk of social exclusion poses a big challenge for science communicators. We schematize a framework for projects using science & art to promote social inclusion, composed of 3 phases — design, plan and collaboration; implementation; and evaluation. We present a case study that aimed to engage with a community of migrant senior women, mostly illiterate. Our findings suggest high engagement was achieved by building trust, involving emotions, choosing a relatable topic and following participatory practices. Inclusive activities occurred on the short-term, but for medium-term impact, community insiders need to be regarded as a second audience.

Volume 20 • Issue 02 • 2021

Feb 01, 2021 Commentary
Science engagement with faith communities: respecting identity, culture and worldview

by Robert C. O'Malley, John P. Slattery, Curtis L. Baxter and Katy Hinman

Most adults in the U.S. and worldwide claim a religious affiliation. As an element of identity and worldview, faith informs many individuals' views of science, technology, and society at large. Engagement with faith communities and religious leaders about science can improve public perceptions and trust of scientists, advance evidence-based policy, and improve diversity, equity and inclusion in science fields. This commentary outlines examples and suggests guiding principles for science engagement with faith communities.

Volume 20 • Issue 01 • 2021

Feb 01, 2021 Commentary
Neglected spaces in science communication

by Clare Wilkinson

Many of the earliest drivers for improved scientific literacy and understanding were based on the assumption that science and technology is all around us, and yet there are some spaces and communities that are neglected in science communication contexts. In this brief comment, Clare Wilkinson introduces a series of ten commentaries, which further probe neglected spaces in science communication.

Volume 20 • Issue 01 • 2021