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Filter by keyword: Science communication: theory and models

Publications including this keyword are listed below.

Feb 24, 2020 Article
One size does not fit all: gender implications for the design of outcomes, evaluation and assessment of science communication programs

by Christine O'Connell, Merryn McKinnon and Jordan LaBouff

As science communication programs grow worldwide, effective evaluation and assessment metrics lag. While there is no consensus on evaluation protocols specifically for science communication training, there is agreement on elements of effective training: listening, empathy, and knowing your audience — core tenets of improvisation. We designed an evaluation protocol, tested over three years, based on validated and newly developed scales for an improvisation-based communication training at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Initial results suggest that ‘knowing your audience’ should apply to training providers as they design and evaluate their curriculum, and gender may be a key influence on outcomes.

Volume 19 • Issue 01 • 2020

Feb 17, 2020 Article
Models to build capacity for African science centres and science communication: needs and assets

by Graham Walker, Leapotswe Bontle BANTSI, Siphesihle Bukhosini, Knowledge Chikundi, Akash Dusrath, Martin Kafeero, Bhamini Kamudu, Kenneth Monjero, Kabelo Nick Moswetsi, Sandile Rikhotso, Marthinus J. Schwartz and Puleng Tsie

Science communication is proliferating in the developing world, however, with respect to science centres, as a whole Africa is being left behind. Here 15 participants in a capacity building program are investigated using traditional needs-based and contemporary asset-based development conceptualisations. These development theories parallel deficit and participatory approaches, respectively, within science communication and demonstrate synergies between the fields. Data showed staffing, funding, governments, host institutions, and audiences are prominent needs and assets, networks are a major asset, and identified other influential factors. Analysis suggests a coordinated model involving individuals, host institutions and governments to facilitate growth of African science centres.

Volume 19 • Issue 01 • 2020

Feb 10, 2020 Article
Science on tap: effective public engagement or preaching to the choir?

by Cara Ocobock and Patricia Hawley

The goal of Science Cafés and Science on Taps is to encourage open discourse between scientists and the public in a casual setting (e.g., a bar) in order to improve the public understanding of, and trust in, science. These events have existed for over two decades, but there is no research studying their efficacy. Data presented here demonstrate that a yearlong Science on Tap series induced little change among the attendees with respect to attitudes, emotions, and knowledge about the nature of science. Ultimately, we found this event may be preaching to the choir rather than changing hearts and minds.

Volume 19 • Issue 01 • 2020

Nov 12, 2019 Article
Storytelling for narrative approaches in citizen science: towards a generalized model

by Anett Richter, Andrea Sieber, Julia Siebert, Victoria Miczajka-Rußmann, Jörg Zabel, David Ziegler, Susanne Hecker and Didone Frigerio

Storytelling essentials are stories that direct attention, trigger emotions, and prompt understanding. Citizen science has recently promoted the narrative approach of storytelling as a means of engagement of people of all ages and backgrounds in scientific research processes. We seek understanding about the typology of storytelling in citizen science projects and explore to what extent the tool of storytelling can be conceptualized in the approach of citizen science. In a first step, we investigated the use and integration of storytelling in citizen science projects in the three European German-speaking countries. We conducted a low threshold content analysis of 209 projects listed on the German-speaking online platforms for citizen science projects “Bürger schaffen Wissen”, “Österreich forscht”, and “Schweiz forscht”. Two expert workshops with citizen science practitioners were held to validate and discuss the identified role of stories in the practice of citizen science. Our analysis revealed three major categories mirroring how stories are being integrated and applied in citizen science. The first category refers to projects, in which stories are the core research objective. The second category is characterized by the application of stories in different phases of the research project. The third category encompasses stories as agents being part of the communication and organization of the project. We illustrate the practical application of these categories by three representative case studies. By combining the functionality of the categories and abstracting the linkages between storytelling and citizen science, we derived a generalized model accounting for those linkages. In conclusion, we suggest that storytelling should be a prerequisite to enhance the competencies of the actors involved and to exchange knowledge at the interfaces of science and policy as well as science and society.

Volume 18 • Issue 06 • 2019

Oct 14, 2019 Article
Science stories as culture: experience, identity, narrative and emotion in public communication of science

by Sarah Rachael Davies, Megan Halpern, Maja Horst, David Kirby and Bruce Lewenstein

The last three decades have seen extensive reflection concerning how science communication should be modelled and understood. In this essay we propose the value of a cultural approach to science communication — one that frames it primarily as a process of meaning-making. We outline the conceptual basis for this view of culture, drawing on cultural theory to suggest that it is valuable to see science communication as one aspect of (popular) culture, as storytelling or narrative, as ritual, and as collective meaning-making. We then explore four possible ways that a cultural approach might proceed: by mobilising ideas about experience; by framing science communication through identity work; by focusing on fiction; and by paying attention to emotion. We therefore present a view of science communication as always entangled within, and itself shaping, cultural stories and meanings. We close by suggesting that one benefit of this approach is to move beyond debates concerning ‘deficit or dialogue’ as the key frame for public communication of science.

Volume 18 • Issue 05 • 2019 • Special Issue: Stories in Science Communication, 2019

Oct 14, 2019 Article
The power of storytelling and video: a visual rhetoric for science communication

by Wiebke Finkler and Bienvenido Leon

This research develops a conceptual framework for telling visual stories about science using short-format videos, termed SciCommercial videos, that draw upon marketing communication. The framework is illustrated by an exemplar, the Good Whale Watching video, which is explained using a visual rhetoric keyframe analysis. Finally, the effectiveness of the video is evaluated as a science communication tool using an empirical online survey with 1698 respondents. The results highlight the benefits of using video for storytelling about science by using our framework formula, modified from marketing practices, to produce videos that are Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Science Storytelling (SUCCESS).

Volume 18 • Issue 05 • 2019 • Special Issue: Stories in Science Communication, 2019

Sep 30, 2019 Commentary
Feminist standpoint theory and science communication

by Megan Halpern

This commentary introduces feminist standpoint theory and discusses its potential value in science communication. It offers two ways in which feminist standpoints can help in both research and practice. First, science communicators should aim to understand the perspective from which they understand and share scientific knowledge. Second, practitioners and researchers alike should seek insights from marginalized groups to help inform the ways the dominant view of science reflects hegemonic social and cultural norms.

Volume 18 • Issue 04 • 2019

Sep 30, 2019 Commentary
What role can Athena SWAN play in gender equality and science communication?

by Clare Wilkinson

This essay discusses how gender-focused culture change initiatives developed for science (like Athena SWAN) might offer models for science communication. Such initiatives can seek to mobilise change amongst university departments and practices, but there are also potential pitfalls in such approaches. Using experiences in a department at UWE Bristol as a basis, the article will consider whether such schemes in science offer potential for science communication to reflect on its own gender imbalances.

Volume 18 • Issue 04 • 2019

Sep 30, 2019 Commentary
Technoscience in the era of #MeToo and the science march

by Stephanie Steinhardt

Feminist technoscience theory offers perspectives for science communication that both question common narratives and suggests new narratives. These perspectives emphasize issues of ethics and care often missing from science communication. They focus on questions of what is marginalized or left out of stories about science — and encourage us to make those absences visible.

Volume 18 • Issue 04 • 2019