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Filter by keyword: Public engagement with science and technology

Publications including this keyword are listed below.

Sep 18, 2023 Practice Insight
How to save the world with zombies? — A scientainment approach to engage young people

by Petra Bättig-Frey, Mirjam West, Rahel Skelton and Verena Berger

When trying to sensitize adolescents for sustainability, innovative communication approaches are needed. In the outdoor escape “Zombie mission”, players follow a story and try to save the world by solving puzzles about sustainability topics with scientific information found in the university gardens. This study investigates to whom this scientainment approach appeals and whether it can impart knowledge and raise interest in science and the environment. A mixed methods approach was adopted using questionnaires and interviews. The results suggest that the game is a promising tool for communicating sustainability to adolescents, even those who may not have had prior interest in the environment or science. Participants enjoyed the activity and gained new knowledge as a result.

Volume 22 • Issue 05 • 2023

Jul 24, 2023 Practice Insight
Opening museums' science communication to dialogue and participation: the “Experimental Field for Participation and Open Science” at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

by Wiebke Rössig, Bonnie Dietermann, Yori Schultka, Suriya Poieam and Uwe Moldrzyk

The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Natural History Museum — MfN) established participation and exchange as central elements of the entire institution alongside its research. In order to experiment with formats and settings for dialogue-oriented exchange and participation, an area within the exhibition round walk was designated for this purpose in 2018. Over the course of three years, the “Experimental Field for Participation and Open Science” has developed the practice of opening the museum's research and collection in a dialogue-oriented, participatory way. Focus lies on museum visitors and on reaching new groups who are not in close contact with science yet. The practice of opening and participation was tested, reflectively accompanied, and further developed during the whole time period. This article describes the idea, concept, design, and the results of the external evaluation of the formats of dialogue-oriented and participatory outreach in the Experimental Field at the MfN. It gives an overview of underlying ideas, design of the space, and how the goal of creating mutually beneficial encounters and enabling participation and co-creation was addressed.

Volume 22 • Issue 04 • 2023

Jul 10, 2023 Article
U.S. adult viewers of information treatments express overall positive views but some concerns about gene editing technology

by Kathryn Stofer, Savanna Turner, Joy N. Rumble, Brandon McFadden, Kevin Folta, Adithi Jeevan, Tracy Ouncap, Kirsten Hecht, Cierra Cummins and Robert Thiel

Gene editing techniques (GET) may add precision and speed to the genetic improvement process. However, some adults remain skeptical. We examined U.S. consumer sentiment and concerns about foods derived from GET following information treatments. Randomly assigned participants viewed either: an industry-based video, a food blogger video, or a written article. We coded sentiment and themes of open-ended survey responses. Most responses were in favor of GET after intervention; the industry video produced the most negative attitudes; and technical benefits, concerns, and effects emerged among themes. Our research will help design engagement to boost consumer understanding of GET risks and benefits.

Volume 22 • Issue 04 • 2023

Jun 20, 2023 Editorial
Introduction: Living Labs Under Construction

by Caroline Wehrmann, Christian Pentzold, Ingmar Rothe and Andreas Bischof

Living Labs galore. Involving citizens and other stakeholders in science endeavors and integrating them in the design of new technologies and scientific inquiry is a core aim of contemporary research and development. Living labs are prime places in the quest of science to be more inclusive and to open up to people from all walks of life, including politics, design, and culture. Promising to foster participation, collaboration and co-creation around science, living labs have been mushrooming across the academe, from STEM subjects to the humanities. In fact, they have become the token for an up-to-date science communication that is not satisfied with conveying expert information but seeks an exchange with people that are addressed as the participants of, not just the audience for research. That said, it is also in living labs where the tension between the normative axioms and the precarious implementation of participatory science become succinctly apparent.

Volume 22 • Issue 03 • 2023 • Special Issue: Living labs under construction: paradigms, practices, and perspectives of public science communication and participatory science

Jun 20, 2023 Article
Living Lab, interrupted? Exploring new methods for postdigital exchange on WeChat with urban-rural Living Labs in China and Germany during COVID-19

by Kit Braybrooke, Gaoli Xiao and Ava Lynam

This paper explores the possibilities of a two-phase postdigital ethnographic method for engaging with Living Labs in difficult-to-access physical fields. Our WeChat photo exchange group, ‘URA 照片分享群’, was prototyped through two experimentation rounds, in which participants of 3 Living Labs in China and Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic exchanged photos and insights about their everyday experiences. The approach was revealed to be an efficient tool to build rapport with field informants and gain impressions of local socio-spatial practices, while also challenged by trust-building, biases, and research ethics. We conclude with four design principles for future studies with participants in Living Labs where physical co-location is not possible.

Volume 22 • Issue 03 • 2023 • Special Issue: Living labs under construction: paradigms, practices, and perspectives of public science communication and participatory science

Jun 20, 2023 Essay
Imagineering the city: the living lab mystique and its discontents

by Dara Ivanova and Sabrina Huizenga

In this essay, we posit that the urban living lab is an object, engulfed in a particular kind of ontological mystique. We show how diverse urban initiatives utilize the label of `lab' strategically, in order to position their practices within the logic of scientific authority and in/exclude different audiences, thus configuring urban participation. The essay links this lab mystique to urban participation by employing the lens of imagineering [van den Berg, 2015], combining imagining and engineering the city in particular participatory configurations. This allows for critical examinations of who is allowed to imagine, experiment and participate in the city through living lab initiatives.

Volume 22 • Issue 03 • 2023 • Special Issue: Living labs under construction: paradigms, practices, and perspectives of public science communication and participatory science

Jun 20, 2023 Practice Insight
Living labs as third places: low-threshold participation, empowering hospitality, and the social infrastructuring of continuous presence

by Christian Pentzold, Ingmar Rothe and Andreas Bischof

In this practice insight contribution, we reflect on our learnings from configuring and upholding a living lab as a third place in an urban and distinctively non-academic environment. Trying to make space for an empowering hospitality necessitated withholding our schemes and workshop plans so to facilitate grassroots endeavors on the side of the people dropping in and staying around though they might follow unexpected paths. This follows no blueprint but requires researchers and science communicators to be open to surprises, to be patient and persistent, and to be willing to swap positions and be the learners, not the instructors. While the physical and technical infrastructures were at one point installed, keeping the social infrastructuring of continuous presence running remains an open issue that requires us to rethink how to fund and support living labs and their mission in the long run.

Volume 22 • Issue 03 • 2023 • Special Issue: Living labs under construction: paradigms, practices, and perspectives of public science communication and participatory science

Jun 12, 2023 Conference Review
Hindsight, Insight, Foresight: Australian Science Communicators (ASC) Conference 2023

by Lisa Bailey and Heather J. Bray

The recent conference of the Australian Science Communicators (ASC) association (15–17 February 2023) held in Canberra was an opportunity for the 140 delegates to reflect on a decade of the national strategy for public engagement with the sciences, “Inspiring Australia”, and consider the future role for science communicators in the Australian science and research landscape. The conference was the first in-person conference since the COVID-19 pandemic, and other discussions focused on the role of AI in science communication and the importance of networks.

Volume 22 • Issue 02 • 2023

May 29, 2023 Practice Insight
Active ingredients of science communication impact: a quantitative study at a science festival

by Madelijn Strick and Stephanie Helfferich

This quantitative survey study aimed to identify “active ingredients” of a science festival in The Netherlands. Active ingredients are the elements of science communication activities that drive the impact on visitors' knowledge, attitudes, or behavior. Factor analyses of data from on-site surveys conducted in two different festival years (Total N=456) revealed three active ingredients: personal relevance, accessibility, and interactivity. Furthermore, the analyses revealed two impacts: increased knowledge/insight and increased familiarity with science. The strongest predictor of impact was personal relevance, which denotes the feeling that the festival activities touched on visitors' emotions and personal life.

Volume 22 • Issue 02 • 2023

Apr 03, 2023 Article
Socioscientific issues in science exhibitions: examining contributions of the informal science education sector

by Ana Maria Navas Iannini

This paper examines how a particular subset of informal science education settings — science exhibitions — embraces contemporary socioscientific issues (SSI) and fosters public engagement with them. A qualitative cross-case analysis of two SSI exhibitions about teen pregnancy (Brazil) and sustainability (Canada) was conducted. It revealed complex issues around operational funding, and institutional tensions related to the nature, balance, and relevance of the topics displayed. The analysis unravelled opportunities for SSI exhibits to engage with contextualized and situated knowledge; articulate the deficit model with other models of science communication; and consider visitors as agents of change.

Volume 22 • Issue 02 • 2023