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Oct 08, 2018 Practice Insight
Time to teach post-normal science communication? Fostering the engagement of the extended peer community in an academic course of Environmental Sciences

by Alba L'Astorina, Alessia Ghezzi, Stefano Guerzoni and Emanuela Molinaroli

In November 2016, within an Environmental studies course at the University of Venice, students carried out an experiment aimed at collecting scenarios of the Venetian coast's future starting from lessons learnt during the episode of storm surge 50 years ago (Aqua Granda ‘flood’). The students built scenarios able to anticipate the effect of sea level rise on coastal areas in Venice, based not only on scientific input but also on a methodology called “Futurescape city Tours” (FCT) involving inhabitants of the barrier islands of Lido and Pellestrina. This paper will explore three main questions: (i) Can participatory and experiential methodologies, such as FCT help students behave in an anticipatory and inclusive way in their future professional activities? (ii) Can we talk about post-normal science teaching? — i.e. one that acknowledges and works with science and other knowledges to address societal issues? (iii) Can such an approach challenge students thinking in relation to knowledge hierarchies?

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

Oct 03, 2018 Practice Insight
Engaging with policy practitioners to promote institutionalisation of public participation in science, technology and innovation policy

by Mitsuru Kudo, Go Yoshizawa and Kei Kano

This paper is a reflective account of a public participation project the authors conducted in Japan in 2012–2015, as part of the central government's initiative for evidence-based policy-making. The reflection focusses on three key aspects of the project: setting a precedent of involving public participation in policy-making; embedding an official mechanism for public participation in policy-making process; and raising policy practitioners' awareness of public participation. We also discuss why we think engaging with policy practitioners, while problematic in various ways, is and will continue to be important in promoting institutionalised practice of public participation.

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

Jul 04, 2018 Practice Insight
Beyond self-confidence: a participatory evaluation of personal change in Science Gallery's Mediators

by Katrina Enros and Andrea Bandelli

Mediators engage in peer-to-peer conversations with young adults visiting the art and science exhibitions at Science Gallery Dublin. Previous evaluation and anecdotal reports show that the interdisciplinary nature of these conversations fosters self-confidence and interest in academic careers. We used the Most Significant Change methodology to evaluate if working as a Mediator has an impact beyond these domains. The results show that civic engagement, interest in social justice and emotional empathy are domains of significant personal change strongly associated with the development of self-confidence and interpersonal skills.

Volume 17 • Issue 03 • 2018