Mar 25, 2024

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Editorials

Mar 25, 2024 Editorial
Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

by Liliann Fischer, Germana Barata, Andreas M. Scheu and Ricarda Ziegler

Science communication is a thriving field that is vitally important to confront and overcome current societal challenges. To make science communication effective, science communication research and practice need to come together and share knowledge and experiences. However, their collaboration is hampered by a variety of obstacles on both sides, ranging from lack of time to lack of incentives and awareness. In this Special Issue we give space to authors from a wide range of backgrounds to reflect on the relationship between science communication research and practice and inspire the field with their insights and learnings.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Articles

Mar 25, 2024 Article
Science Communication as a Human Right

by Gabriela Frías-Villegas, Kathia Elisa García-Gómez, Alejandro Guzmán-Vendrell, Irvin Alberto Mendoza-Hernández, Ricardo Tránsito-Santos and Fabiola Vázquez-Quiroz

This work discusses four practical science communication cases in which we worked with communities from different parts of Mexico in vulnerable situations. We analyze those cases from an interdisciplinary point of view, emphasizing the observation of human rights to propose a new inclusive definition of science communication and new strategies for engaging in horizontal dialogues with cultural groups. This perspective demands a change in methodological procedures, such as performing anthropological work and the co-creation of projects and materials together with all the members of the communities involved. We also propose using novel strategies to reach communities in vulnerable situations.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Practice Insights

Mar 25, 2024 Practice Insight
Exhibition research and practice at CERN: challenges and learnings of science communication `in the making'

by Daria Dvorzhitskaia, Annabella Zamora, Emma Sanders, Patricia Verheyden and Jimmy Clerc

This practice insight paper presents a reflection on a four-year collaboration between science communication practitioners and researchers, using CERN's new education and outreach centre as a case study. The development of interactive exhibitions for this centre was informed by a variety of front-end and formative evaluation studies, from online surveys to exhibit prototype testing. As a multidisciplinary team of exhibition developers and social science researchers, we describe and discuss the challenges of — as well as learnings from — working together. Our experience will be relevant for everyone curious to discover `behind-the-scenes' work of research-informed exhibition development in a large scientific laboratory.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Mar 25, 2024 Practice Insight
Transforming science journalism through collaborative research: a case study of the German “WPK Innovation Fund for Science Journalism”

by Christopher Buschow, Anja Noster, Holger Hettwer, Lynda Lich-Knight and Franco Zotta

Science journalism, a unique form of science communication, faces grand challenges requiring innovation for its sustainability. This practice insight delves into a research-practice collaboration addressing the “WPK Innovation Fund for Science Journalism”, a pioneering support infrastructure for innovation in German science journalism. Our transformative accompanying research project aims to both support the fund's development as well as advance science journalism research. This report, co-authored by researchers and practitioners, showcases opportunities and challenges, drawing from the three forms of knowledge generated in the collaboration: systems, target, and transformation knowledge. Each of these forms sheds light on specific lessons learned in our project on how to conduct transformative journalism research.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Mar 25, 2024 Practice Insight
Teaching to bridge research and practice: perspectives from science communication educators across the world

by Siddharth Kankaria, Alice Fleerackers, Edith Escalón, Erik Stengler, Clare Wilkinson and Tobias Kreutzer

Despite growing awareness of the need to bridge research and practice in science communication, methods of facilitating meaningful interactions between them remain elusive. This practice insight explores how teaching efforts can help to fill this gap. Drawing on case studies from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, India, and Mexico, six instructors offer examples of pedagogical strategies that they have found effective in bridging the two domains — such as fostering partnerships with local science communication practitioners, using dialogic and participatory approaches to build communities of learning and practice, encouraging reflexivity and epistemic humility, and drawing connections with local contexts.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Essays

Mar 25, 2024 Essay
Collaborative design to bridge theory and practice in science communication

by Carolin Enzingmüller and Daniela Marzavan

The science communication field strives to connect theory and practice. This essay delves into the potential of collaborative design to bridge this gap. Collaborative design in science communication can involve scientists, science communication researchers, designers, and other stakeholders in developing new science communication solutions. By incorporating diverse perspectives and expertise, it can help create more effective and evidence-based communication strategies that cater to the needs of audiences. To integrate these demands, a structured approach is necessary. This paper discusses two established frameworks, Design-Based Research and Design Thinking, and applies practical insights to envision the impact of collaborative design on the future of science communication.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Mar 25, 2024 Essay
Broadening adult engagement and education in science cafés: lessons from an STS — science communication boundary spanning experiment

by Karen A. Rader and CJ Gibbs

This essay describes and reflects on a collaboration between a university Science & Technology Studies (STS) educator and a community science café organizer. Our partnership was designed to address two challenges: how to encourage diversity and inclusion in science café audiences and how to create assessments for broader ‘science in society’ content delivered to adult café learners. We used focus groups to develop STS learning constructs and do community engagement needs assessments. We describe the resultant café series development and other outcomes of our cross-domain work in STS, science communication, and science education. We conclude with observations about the power of collaborative storytelling and make general recommendations for how practitioners and scholars can address the described challenges in ways that might ease future collaborations.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Mar 25, 2024 Essay
Bridging research and practice: insights from collaborative science communication research on Japanese television

by Taichi Masu and Yasuhito Abe

This collaborative essay details the reflections of a science communication practitioner and a media communication scholar on their joint research into science communication through Japanese commercial terrestrial television. It emphasizes their unique perspectives as an insider and outsider in their respective fields, suggesting a method to strengthen the collaboration between academic research and its practical application in science communication.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

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