This paper describes the professional and personal benefits that scientists in Australia identified from their own experience of communicating with the general public. Sixty- two per cent of the 1,521 participants in an Internet-based survey gave examples of how they benefited and these were grouped into 11 broad, emergent themes such as “Positive feelings about themselves, their communication and their work”, “Work or personal success”, and “Public understanding/awareness/support for science”. Although any one of these emergent themes may not surprise researchers and practitioners within the science communication field, in totality they project a more positive image of scientists’ experiences than has generally been presented in the science communication literature.

Nearly one in five scientists described positive feelings about themselves, their communication and their work. These intrinsic positive emotions included satisfaction, enjoyment and self esteem. That many scientists enjoyed sharing their knowledge and communicating with and learning from the general public, and gained many other benefits has important implications for scientists, their employers, the science profession and the communication of science.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The benefits of communicating with the general public from the scientists’ point of view
An australian study

S. Searle   The Australian National University, Centre for the Public Awareness of Science

S. Stocklmayer   The Australian National University, Centre for the Public Awareness of Science

This paper describes the professional and personal benefits that scientists in Australia identified from their own experience of communicating with the general public. Sixty- two per cent of the 1,521 participants in an Internet-based survey gave examples of how they benefited and these were grouped into 11 broad, emergent themes such as “Positive feelings about themselves, their communication and their work”, “Work or personal success”, and “Public understanding/awareness/support for science”. Although any one of these emergent themes may not surprise researchers and practitioners within the science communication field, in totality they project a more positive image of scientists’ experiences than has generally been presented in the science communication literature.

Nearly one in five scientists described positive feelings about themselves, their communication and their work. These intrinsic positive emotions included satisfaction, enjoyment and self esteem. That many scientists enjoyed sharing their knowledge and communicating with and learning from the general public, and gained many other benefits has important implications for scientists, their employers, the science profession and the communication of science.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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