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Filter by keyword: Social inclusion

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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
From the margins to the mainstream: deconstructing science communication as a white, Western paradigm

by Summer May Finlay, Sujatha Raman, Elizabeth Rasekoala, Vanessa Mignan, Emily Dawson, Liz Neeley and Lindy A. Orthia

In this commentary we are concerned with what mainstream science communication has neglected through cultural narrowness and ambient racism: other practitioners, missing audiences, unvalued knowledge, unrecognised practices. We explore examples from First Nations Peoples in the lands now known as Australia, from Griots in West Africa and from People's Science Movements in India to help us reimagine science communication. To develop meaningfully inclusive approaches to science communication, we argue there is an urgent need for the ‘mainstream’ to recognise, value and learn from science communication practices that are all too often seen as at ‘the margins’ of this field.

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

Feb 01, 2021 Commentary
Knowledge◦Room exploring social justice by going beyond ‘traditional’ spaces and activities of science centres

by Hessam Habibi Doroh and Barbara Streicher

This article describes an example of science engagement striving for social justice by invigorating neglected spaces. The pop-up science centre “Knowledge◦Room“ in Vienna encourages learning, participation and engagement and provides accessibility to different groups regardless of their background. Based on a case-study of a bottom-up event at the Knowledge◦Room, we show how science communication can create a trust-based connection with disadvantaged groups in society and inspire their curiosity in science. We argue that science communication can be used as a tool for advancing social justice in the wider sense and facilitate encounters between diverse groups within society.

Volume 20 • Issue 01 • 2021

Dec 09, 2020 Article
A space to study: expectations and aspirations toward science among a low-participation cohort

by Cherry Canovan and Robert Walsh

Widening participation in science is a long-held ambition of governments in the U.K. and elsewhere; however numbers of STEM entrants to university from low-socioeconomic status groups remain persistently low. The authors are conducting a long-term school-based space science intervention with a group of pupils from a very-low-participation area, and studied the science attitudes of the participants at the beginning of the programme. Key findings were that young people from the very-low-SES study cohort were just as interested in science study and science jobs as their peers nationally, and had a pre-existing interest in space science. Some participants, particularly boys, demonstrated a ‘concealed science identity’, in that they perceived themselves as a ‘science person’ but thought that other people did not. Boys tended to score higher on generalised ‘science identity’ measures, but the gender difference disappeared on more ‘realist’ measures. In addition, although participants agreed that it was useful to study science, they had little concrete idea as to why. These findings shed light on how science communicators can best address low-SES groups of young people with the aim of increasing their participation in science education and careers. We conclude that interventions with this group that focus on ‘aspiration raising’ are unlikely to be successful, and instead suggest that activities focus on how young people can see science as a realistic path for their future. It would be helpful for in-school programmes to allow young people an outlet to express their science identity, and to give information about the kinds of jobs that studying science may lead to. Further research into whether the gender split on idealist/realist measures of science identity persists over time would be of use.

Volume 19 • Issue 06 • 2020

Sep 30, 2020 Article
Science communication for the Deaf in the pandemic period: absences and pursuit of information

by Alexandre G. Silva, Tiago Batista, Felipe Giraud, Andrea Giraud, Flavio Eduardo Pinto-Silva, Julia Barral, Juan Nascimento Guimarães and Vívian rumjanek

COVID-19 pandemic hit Brazil in February 2020. Controversial information, minimization of the problem, and difficulties resulting from extreme social inequality, led to the intensification of the disease and number of deaths. During this period, the government failed to provide information to the Deaf minority that uses Brazilian Sign Language to communicate. This study analyzes information provided by a TV with accessibility, as well as a Facebook page created by Deaf and hearing interpreters, and videos posted on Instagram and YouTube for that community. The novelty of the subject required linguistic efforts so that information could be coherent in sign language.

Volume 19 • Issue 05 • 2020 • Special Issue: COVID-19 and science communication, Part I, 2020

Sep 01, 2020 Commentary
Science Communication as a design challenge in transdisciplinary collaborations

by Éva Kalmár and Hanneke Stenfert

In this series of comments, we argue for Science Communication as an enabler of transdisciplinary, integrative collaboration in the context of today’s complex, multi-stakeholder issues. Participatory design, as a collaborative method, is effective in achieving mutual learning, shared understandings, integrating disciplines and creating solutions that make sense in the multi-layered reality of today’s challenges. Science Communication, therefore, is communication design in transdisciplinary collaborations.

Volume 19 • Issue 04 • 2020

Sep 01, 2020 Commentary
Power in science communication collaborations

by Megan Halpern and Michael O'Rourke

In this comment, we focus on the ways power impacts science communication collaborations. Following Fischhoff's suggestion of focusing on internal consultation within science communication activities, we examine the ways such consultation is complicated by existing power structures, which tend to prioritize scientific knowledge over other knowledge forms. This prioritization works in concert with funding structures and with existing cultural and social hierarchies to shape science communication in troubling ways. We discuss several strategies to address problematic power structures. These strategies may reveal and thus mitigate problems in individual collaborations, but these collaborations exist within a larger infrastructure in need of systemic change.

Volume 19 • Issue 04 • 2020

Jul 20, 2020 Conference Review
Engaging migrant and refugee communities in non-formal science learning spaces

by Autumn Brown, Joseph Roche and Mairéad Hurley

In this era of pandemics, economic crises and civil unrest, science centres and museums have an opportunity to become truly relevant resources to society. This paper summarises a number of critical lessons from the PISEA International Symposium, a conference held the at the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art in Vienna from the 17th–18th of October 2019. The purpose of this event was to share, learn, and discuss ways in which engagement with migrants and refugee populations might be improved within informal science learning spaces. Issues around integration, inclusive art-science practice, and shifting institutional policy and language were all explored. This paper also calls for the committed reform of informal science spaces, and a renewed commitment to responsive, equitable, and inclusive practice.

Volume 19 • Issue 04 • 2020

Apr 27, 2020 Practice Insight
Communicating cosmology with multisensory metaphorical experiences

by Roberto Trotta, Daniel Hajas, José Eliel Camargo-Molina, Robert Cobden, Emanuela Maggioni and Marianna Obrist

We present a novel approach to communicating abstract concepts in cosmology and astrophysics in a more accessible and inclusive manner. We describe an exhibit aiming at creating an immersive, multisensory metaphorical experience of an otherwise imperceptible physical phenomenon — dark matter. Human-Computer Interaction experts and physicists co-created a multisensory journey through dark matter by exploiting the latest advances in haptic and olfactory technology. We present the concept design of a pilot and a second, improved event, both held at the London Science Museum, including the practical setup of the multisensory dark matter experience, the delivery of sensory stimulation and preliminary insights from users' feedback.

Volume 19 • Issue 02 • 2020