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Nov 06, 2022 Commentary
Advancing inclusion through culturally relevant science communication: a perspective from Puerto Rico

by Monica Feliu-Mojer

The past 20 years of science communication have seen important progress towards inclusion, equity, and justice. In this commentary, I review some of those changes and discuss how culturally relevant science communication activities are part of a broad movement seeking to change the culture, research, and practice of science communication. I draw on my experiences as a practitioner working with the nonprofit organization Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR) to offer lessons for the whole field to continue to address past and present exclusions and injustices and avoid future ones.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Sep 11, 2022 Conference Review
‘SciComPt 2022’: stop, listen and act — reflect on the past to build the future

by Cristina Luís

During the Covid-19 pandemic the world faced enormous challenges demanding immediate responses. As a result, public communication of science assumed unprecedented prominence. Now, we need to stop, listen and act. This was the motto of the 10th Annual Congress of Science Communication in Portugal — SciComPt 2022. The meeting provided participants with exactly that — an opportunity to reflect on the past and help build the future of science communication in Portugal.

Volume 21 • Issue 06 • 2022

Mar 27, 2022 Practice Insight
#finaltrashtination. An art-based intervention to collaboratively generate conversations about climate change

by Franzisca Weder

In this practice insight, an art-based, participatory intervention (#finaltrashtination) is presented as higher education assignment in environmental and climate change communication. The project #finaltrashtination made dominant environmentally destructive ways of wasting visible and stimulated students to take responsibility, advocacy and authorship for transformation. Beyond the one-day eco-culture jam, the project engaged the wider public through conversations about a specific environmental problem. Thus, the project shows how conversational problematization and sensemaking around scientific facts can be initiated by using eco-culture jams promoting very unsettling moments of reflection.

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

Mar 27, 2022 Practice Insight
Look before you leap: assessing community readiness for action on science and health policy issues

by Christina Standerfer, Emily Loker and Jason Lochmann

This practice insight focuses on lessons learned while completing a research project designed to compare the relative effectiveness of three communication strategies in rural communities relative to motivating citizens to take action on a public health issue, specifically Type 2 diabetes. Our main arguments are: 1) Engaging citizens in any type of communication related to public health or science action requires first assessing a community's readiness for that action; and 2) Community readiness — rather than communication methodology — is the better predictor of citizens' participation in collective or individual actions on public health and science issues.

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

Mar 27, 2022 Article
Emergence of perceptions of smart agriculture at a community/campus farm: a participatory experience

by Chi-I Lin

This study provides a practice insight into campus/community co-farming as a communication experience connecting civic participants and experts in exploring the potential applications of smart agriculture. The observation focuses on participants' perceptions of smart-agri practices. The objectives of smart-agri practices have been identified to reduce negative environmental impact and meet local challenges; their development corresponds to the civic value-driven experience of promoting sustainable agriculture with low-risk, trackable information. Relatively few studies on smart-agri communication have engaged with the non-expert level. The findings highlight a viable participatory communication form of problem-solving, the public's trust of expertise, and a vision for inclusive socio-economic applications of smart agriculture.

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

Sep 26, 2021 Essay
Co-created citizen science: challenging cultures and practice in scientific research

by Jade Gunnell, Yaela Golumbic, Tess Hayes and Michelle Cooper

Co-created citizen science offers practical tools for implementing science communication theories by increasing public participation in scientific research, empowering communities and advancing situated scientific knowledge. However, delivering such an approach presents a number of key challenges around funding, fostering working partnerships between scientists and citizens and ensuring all stakeholders receive sufficient benefits from the process. In this essay we draw from science communication and citizen science literature to describe these challenges and discuss the opportunities that will enable co-created practices to prosper.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Aug 15, 2021 Article
Citizen-driven participatory research conducted through knowledge intermediary units. A thematic synthesis of the literature on “Science Shops”

by Anne-Sophie Gresle, Eduardo Urias, Rosario Scandurra, Bálint Balázs, Irene Jimeno, Leonardo de la Torre Ávila and Maria Jesus Pinazo

A Science Shop acts as a mission-oriented intermediary unit between the scientific sphere and civil society organizations. It seeks to facilitate citizen-driven open science projects that respond to the needs of civil society organizations and which, typically, include students in the work process. We performed a thematic analysis of a systematically selected literature on Science Shops to understand how the scientific literature reflects the historical evolution of Science Shops in different settings and what factors the literature associates with the rise and fall of the Science Shop. We used the PRISMA methodology to search for scientific papers in indexed journals in eight databases published in English, French and Spanish, and employed the thematic theory approach to extract and systematize our results. Twenty-six scientific articles met the inclusion criteria. We identified three meta-categories and ten sub-topics which can serve as key pointers to guide the set-up and future work of Science Shops. Our results identify a major paradox: Science Shops incorporate public values in their scientific agendas but have difficulties sustaining themselves institutionally as they do not fit the current dominant research paradigm. Science shops represent a persuasive complementary approach to the way science is defined, executed and produced today.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Jul 07, 2021 Article
“Britain's rainforests”: engaging the public with brownfield sites for conservation in the U.K.

by Rosie McCallum and Ana Margarida Sardo

This small-scale study aims to understand what different environmental organisations are doing to engage people with brownfield sites in the U.K. Interviews with staff members from different environmental organisations found a wide range of initiatives to be in practice, including collaboration with other organisations and local schools and involving volunteer groups with maintenance of the sites. Working with volunteers and partner organisations and the management of sites were often identified as essential contributors to the success of projects. Interesting themes which arose, including the lack of demographic data and issues engaging with developers, could act as springboards for further studies.

Volume 20 • Issue 04 • 2021

May 09, 2021 Article
Communicating astronomy with the public: perspectives of an international community of practice

by Sara Anjos, Pedro russo and Anabela Carvalho

Communities of practice in science communication can make important contributions to public engagement with science but are under-researched. In this article, we look at the perspectives of a community of practice in astronomy communication regarding (relations with) their public(s). Most participants in this study consider that public(s) have several deficits and vulnerabilities. Moreover, practitioners have little to no contact with (and therefore make no use of) academic research on science communication. We argue that collaboration between science communication researchers and practitioners could benefit the science-public relationship and that communities of practice may be critical to that purpose.

Volume 20 • Issue 03 • 2021 • Special Issue: Re-examining Science Communication: models, perspectives, institutions, 2021

May 09, 2021 Article
Reorienting science communication towards communities

by Lindy A. Orthia, Merryn McKinnon, John Noel Viana and Graham Walker

Communities are rarely seen as the ideal level at which to focus science communication efforts, compared to the individual, psychological or mass, societal levels. Yet evidence from allied fields suggests building interpersonal relationships with specific communities over time is key to meaningful engagement, so orienting science communication towards communities is warranted. In this paper, we argue this case. We review previous studies, identifying three existing models of community-oriented science communication, which we label ‘neighbourly’, ‘problem-solving’ and ‘brokering’. We illustrate the effectiveness of the ‘problem-solving’ approach and the desirable ideal of ‘brokering’ using recent examples of community-oriented science communication from Australia.

Volume 20 • Issue 03 • 2021 • Special Issue: Re-examining Science Communication: models, perspectives, institutions, 2021