CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Special Issue "Science Communication in Higher Education: Global Perspectives on the Teaching of Science Communication"

As science communication continues to grow as a field of research and practice, it is also increasingly prominent as an academic discipline taught in universities around the world. Many of the challenges facing science communication educators are specific to local contexts. However, the ways in which such barriers and obstacles are addressed and overcome can be equally relevant to educators working in other regions. By sharing our experiences of how science communication is taught in local contexts across the globe, we can learn from each other and aim to strengthen and improve science communication in higher education. For this special issue, we are seeking submissions from researchers, practitioners, and educators around the world who are involved in teaching science communication in institutions of higher education.

This special issue comes at an ideal time. Following an unprecedented €10 million investment in science communication research by the European Commission between 2018 and 2023, eight science communication research projects were funded to re-examine the role of science communication in society: RETHINK, QUEST, CONCISE, NEWSERA, TRESCA, ParCos, ENJOI, and GlobalSCAPE (see Roche et al., 2021 for more details). Building on previous JCOM special issues featuring the work of these projects in 2021 and 2022, this special issue is supported by the final project in this series, GlobalSCAPE, which is taking stock of how science is communicated in a global context. In choosing to fund this type of work, the European Commission has highlighted the importance of gathering global voices on science communication to understand the practices, strategies, and the ramifications of how science communication is taught in a rapidly changing global landscape. Through a collaboration with PCST (the Network for the Public Communication of Science and Technology — see a previous JCOM special issue that highlighted the 2021 PCST Conference) a map of science communication courses around the world is being developed and will help students, researchers, and practitioners to find and share science communication courses anywhere in the world. The collaboration between PCST and GlobalSCAPE is coordinated via the PCST Teaching Forum. GlobalSCAPE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101006436. The motivation for this special issue also draws on discussions about teaching science communication held at PCST meetings in 2018 and 2021, which featured information about programmes beyond Europe, including New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.

We invite research articles, practice insights and essays, that fall within the scope of JCOM. As well as work stemming from the European research projects mentioned above, we are especially interested in hearing about science communication teaching that is happening in different parts of the world that addresses some of the following themes:

  • Practice insights demonstrating how science communication is taught in different contexts around the world
  • Critical commentaries highlighting the similarities and differences in how science communication is taught across different regions
  • Empirical research articles presenting findings from research focused on the development, delivery, and evaluation of science communication degree programmes
  • Historical overviews charting the establishment and development of science communication in higher education institutions
  • Case studies sharing module descriptors or resources to help improve science communication teaching as a global practice
  • Reflections on the current state of how science communication is taught
  • Aspects of and approaches to science communication pedagogy that could be improved going forward, including ways to improve inclusion and accessibility

Timeline:

  • Call for abstracts: 31 October 2022
  • Abstract submission deadline: 21 December 2022
  • Communication regarding selection of abstracts: 31 January 2023
  • Deadline for full manuscripts: 31 May 2023
  • Peer review complete: 30 September 2023
  • Target date for publication: 30 November 2023

Timeline Procedure:

300-word abstracts (or article outlines) should be submitted by 21 December 2022, to Joseph.Roche@tcd.ie.

The abstract should include:

1) the type of science communication teaching, or related research question, to be discussed,

2) the context of the teaching along with a critical or pedagogical perspective that will be used, and

3) the expected findings, recommendations, or conclusions. The abstract must indicate whether the contribution is intended as a research article (typically 5,000 to 7,500 words), a practice insight (3,000 to 5,000 words), or an essay (3,500 to 4,500 words).

You are welcome to consult with the editors of this special issue (see names below) about your article ideas and potential angles or approaches. Decisions will be communicated to the authors by January 31st, 2022. Invited paper submissions, adhering to the journal’s style guide, will be due May 31st, 2023, and will be submitted directly to the submission site for JCOM the Journal of Science Communication: https://jcom.sissa.it/jcom/index.jsp where they will undergo peer review following the usual procedures of the journal. Please note that the invitation to submit a full article does not guarantee acceptance into the special issue. The target date for publication is November 2023.

Special Issue Guest Editors: