Imagine a ‘virtual event’ engaging students from high school through to postgraduate study in capturing the drama of a single day in science around the world via amateur science journalism, multi-media reporting, and weblogging. In 2005, the World-Wide Day in Science had grown to involve over 150 students and scientists on every continent, including Antarctica.

The World-Wide Day in Science project addresses a range of aims. It produces an annual, and growing, global career guide in science, in order to help reverse the decline in science enrolments in schools and universities. The career guide is assembled by students for students, a strategy designed to enhance its authenticity in the eyes of the student audience. Reports feature images, sound, and video placed on the world wide web, a resource often favoured by the young. Web publication enables students not only to create and disseminate authentic publications at minimal cost but to undertake international collaboration.

The scientists portrayed are usually not those covered by the media. Intriguing but previously little noticed areas of science are revealed to the student audience. In addition, ‘quieter’ scientists gain practice in explaining their scientific work to non-experts, without entering a lecture hall, where so few scientists excel.

In educational terms, participating scientists enter the ‘community of practice’ of science communication as do the student reporters. The latter also gain ‘peripheral participation’ in the communities of practice of scientific research and application and reveal their inner workings to their peers.

Experiences and preliminary research suggest challenges ahead as well as opportunities for building participation and readership. Methods, rationale, and development of the project in Australia, Spain, and Uruguay will be described. Those who are interested in collaborating on this project or in building other, global, ‘virtual events’ may benefit from this account.

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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The world-wide day in science continues to grow

Will Rifkin   University of New South Wales, Australia

Maria Pia Cerdeiras   University of the Republic of Uruguay, Uruguay

Gemma Revuelta   Pompeu Fabra University, Spain

Silvia Coll   Pompeu Fabra University, Spain

Imagine a ‘virtual event’ engaging students from high school through to postgraduate study in capturing the drama of a single day in science around the world via amateur science journalism, multi-media reporting, and weblogging. In 2005, the World-Wide Day in Science had grown to involve over 150 students and scientists on every continent, including Antarctica.

The World-Wide Day in Science project addresses a range of aims. It produces an annual, and growing, global career guide in science, in order to help reverse the decline in science enrolments in schools and universities. The career guide is assembled by students for students, a strategy designed to enhance its authenticity in the eyes of the student audience. Reports feature images, sound, and video placed on the world wide web, a resource often favoured by the young. Web publication enables students not only to create and disseminate authentic publications at minimal cost but to undertake international collaboration.

The scientists portrayed are usually not those covered by the media. Intriguing but previously little noticed areas of science are revealed to the student audience. In addition, ‘quieter’ scientists gain practice in explaining their scientific work to non-experts, without entering a lecture hall, where so few scientists excel.

In educational terms, participating scientists enter the ‘community of practice’ of science communication as do the student reporters. The latter also gain ‘peripheral participation’ in the communities of practice of scientific research and application and reveal their inner workings to their peers.

Experiences and preliminary research suggest challenges ahead as well as opportunities for building participation and readership. Methods, rationale, and development of the project in Australia, Spain, and Uruguay will be described. Those who are interested in collaborating on this project or in building other, global, ‘virtual events’ may benefit from this account.

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