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Filter by keyword: Participation and science governance

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Sep 20, 2017 Commentary
The changing face of expertise and the need for knowledge transfer

by Aleksandra Berditchevskaia, Cindy Regalado and Stephan Van Duin

New public participatory modes of practice are emerging in fields as diverse as politics, healthcare and research. In part, these DIY and citizen-led initiatives have gained momentum from the optimism of new technologies, which allow unprecedented access to previously inaccessible knowledge and tools. Equally, they are the result of a growing frustration with power hierarchies and systems that reinforce elites. Experts are increasingly regarded with suspicion as trust in public institutions is eroded and individuals begin to give more weight to personal accounts, and information shared within networks of peers. In this climate there is a critical need for improved knowledge transfer practices based on improved empathy, understanding and communication of shared values and motivations. In this session we questioned the role of expertise in a changing landscape of knowledge production and practice. Using the lens of science & technology communication and hands-on DIY practices, we explored how to move towards a more inclusive model of knowledge transfer, where different types of expertise are acknowledged and valued.

Volume 16 • Issue 04 • 2017

Sep 20, 2017 Commentary
Science fiction and science futures: considering the role of fictions in public engagement and science communication work

by Michael Reinsborough

The imagination of possible scientific futures has a colourful history of interaction with scientific research agendas and public expectations. The 2017 annual UK Science in Public conference included a panel discussing this. Emphasizing fiction as a method for engaging with and mapping the influence of possible futures, this panel discussed the role of science fiction historically, the role of science fiction in public attitudes to artificial intelligence, and its potential as a method for engagement between scientific researchers and publics. Science communication for creating mutually responsive dialogue between research communities and publics about setting scientific research agendas should consider the role of fictions in understanding how futures are imagined by all parties.

Volume 16 • Issue 04 • 2017

Sep 20, 2017 Commentary
Science communication: process, power and politics

by Peter Broks

The “post-truth” age of “alternative facts” suggests both the urgent need for effective science communication and also its failure over the past thirty years. Two sessions at the Science in Public conference explored what could be done. Responsible Research and Innovation is presented as one possible way forward with the NUCLEUS project offered as an example. The result would be to transform “science communication” so that public engagement shares not only knowledge but the power that goes with it.

Volume 16 • Issue 04 • 2017

Sep 20, 2017 Commentary
SiP 2017 panel: speculations and concerns on robots' status in society

by Erik Stengler and Jimena Escudero Pérez

Studying fictional depictions of robots and artificial intelligence in cinematographic science fiction narratives acquires a new level of relevance as legislators' approaches to the subject seem to be strongly influenced by popular culture. This panel of Science in Public 2017 presented various on-going investigations of this kind, showing that the critical mass in this area of research is growing

Volume 16 • Issue 04 • 2017

Jun 21, 2017 Editorial
Science centres and science engagement activities as research facilities: blurring the frontiers between knowledge production and knowledge sharing

by Matteo Merzagora

The future challenges within science communication lie in a 'grey area' where the frontiers between production and sharing of knowledge are blurred. An area in which we can satisfy at the same time and within the same activity the autonomous interests of researchers and those of other stakeholders, including lay publics. Settings are emerging, where we can provide real contribution to scientific research and at the same time facilitate the publics in their process of hacking scientific knowledge to serve autonomously defined and often unpredictable functions. Some are linked to research institutes, others to science centres, others are precisely inbetween. This editorial explores why these special places are needed, and present some case studies, leading to the need of interpreting science culture centres as research facilities.

Volume 16 • Issue 02 • 2017

Apr 18, 2017 Article
Building the economic-public relationship: learning from science communication and science studies.

by Fabien Medvecky and Vicki Macknight

There is a gap between the discipline of economics and the public it is supposedly about and for. This gap is reminiscent of the divide that led to movements for the public understanding of and public engagement with the natural sciences. It is a gap in knowledge, trust, and opinions, but most of all it is a gap in engagement. In this paper we ask: What do we need to think about ― and what do we need to do ― in order to bring economics and its public into closer dialogue? At stake is engaged, critical democracy. We turn to the fields of public understanding of science and science studies for our approach, finding three themes of particular relevance: understanding, expertise, and audience. We then discuss participatory budgeting (PB) as an example of fertile ground for engagement. We argue that with an economic-engagement focus, activities such as PB could be extended into the public-economics gap and provide avenues for an economic equivalent of participatory science: a form of participatory economics.

Volume 16 • Issue 02 • 2017

Mar 28, 2017 Commentary
Science communication: frequently public, occasionally intellectual

by Rod Lamberts

This article provides a starting position and scene-setter for an invited commentary series on science communication and public intellectualism. It begins by briefly considering what intellectualism and public intellectualism are, before discussing their relationship with science communication, especially in academia. It ends with a call to science communication academics and practitioners to either become more active in challenging the status quo, or to help support those who wish to by engendering a professional environment that encourages risk-taking and speaking-out in public about critical social issues.

Volume 16 • Issue 01 • 2017

Dec 16, 2016 Commentary
Science communication and Responsible Research and Innovation. How can they complement each other?

by Victor Scholten, Jeroen van den Hoven, Eefje Cuppen and Steven Flipse

In today's society a variety of challenges need attention because they are considered to affect our well-being. Many of these challenges can be addressed with new innovations, yet they may also introduce new challenges. Communication of these new innovations is vital. This importance is also addressed by the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation. In the present commentary we draw on a dataset of 196 research projects and discuss the two research streams of Science Communication and Responsible Research and Innovation and how they are complements to each other. We conclude with suggestions for practitioners and scientists.

Volume 15 • Issue 06 • 2016

Nov 09, 2016 Essay
The price of trust — a response to Weingart and Guenther

by Jane Gregory

In response to Weingart and Guenther [2016], this essay explores the issue of trust in science communication by situating it in a wider communications culture and a longer historical period. It argues that the popular scientific culture is a necessary context not only for professional science, but also for the innovation economy. Given that the neutrality of science is a myth, and that science communication is much like any other form of communication, we should not be surprised if, in an innovation economy, science communication has come to resemble public relations, both for science and for science-based innovations. The public can be sceptical of PR, and may mistrust science communication for this reason.

Volume 15 • Issue 06 • 2016

Sep 21, 2016 Article
Using social network analysis to document science festival partnerships

by Christine Bevc, Denise Young and Karen Peterman

This study applies social network analysis to explore the role that one science festival has played in building the state's STEM learning ecosystem. It examines the breadth and extent of collaboration among STEM educators and their partners, reviewing past and present partnerships across 449 events during the 2015 festival. Three case studies provide in-depth illustrations of partnerships. These findings represent an important step towards (a) mapping a STEM learning ecosystem, and (b) trying to understand how a festival affects the ecosystem itself. Together, study results demonstrate how the festival has served to stimulate and foster STEM partnerships.

Volume 15 • Issue 05 • 2016