With the S&T progress and social development, the scientific research findings and their applications in real life have more and more significant impact on people’s daily lives. Therefore, the mutual interaction between science community and the public is playing an increasingly important role. On one hand, the democratization of science requires the understanding and participating of the public.

Only with the support and identification of the public, the scientific research could be able to be carried out smoothly and successfully. On the other hand, there is a pressing need for the public to understand the scientific research process to acquire the latest S&T achievements. Scientists play a very important role in responding to the public’s desire, not only because that the scientists undertake the duties and responsibilities of promoting the development of S&T and the society, but also for their unique advantage and authority in the activities of public communication of science.

In recent years, we have seen initiatives of the governments in some countries, as well as of the science community, in encouraging scientists to involve in science communication, considering the combination of scientific research and science communication as an important means of promoting the undertakings of the S&T progress and social development. However, as the operation and management mechanism have yet not been completed, we still have a long way to explore the method and complete strategies on getting scientists involved in science communication.

The panel session will explore the issue, in either general framework or a specific perspective from different angles as policies, researches, as well as case study, to share the experience of different regions and discuss about the ways and measures to promote the mutual development of scientific research and science communication. The proposed session will be organized as a panel with a moderator for about 80min, which consists of 5min brief introduction of the speaker and overview of the objectives of the session, 15 min presentation facilitated by the PowerPoint by each presenter, 20 min for panel and audience discussion, and 5 min conclusion in the end. The panel invites presenters from China, Mexico, and United Kingdom.

(1) Mobilising the troops: 25 years of training scientists to communicate.

When the movement that gave rise to the Public Communication of Science and Technology network was getting started, the demand was that the research community should be much more open with the lay public about the work that they were doing.But there was little in the formal training of young researchers that would prepare them for such activities. Therefore, to enhance the ability of scientists to communicate, activities – workshops, undergraduate courses, master’s degrees – were established around the world to give the research community the training that would help them to talk to their fellow citizens in ways that were appropriate and empowering. But as the years have gone on, so the demands on scientists have increased and developed. No longer is just straightforward “communication” sufficient. The mood is for dialogue, the task is engagement. And new demands are imminent.This contribution will draw on the presenter’s 25 years’  experience in science communication training, both in the United Kingdom and – more importantly – as director of two European networks (ENSCoT 2000-2003, ESConet 2005-2011). In particular, the European projects have left a legacy of science communication training modules that are freely available to the community under Creative Commons. This presentation will also flag up new efforts that aim to take such work into the area of responsible research and innovation.

(2)  Mexican policies for public communication of science and technology

Very recently the Mexican law of science and technology was modified to include public communication of science, technology and innovation within the responsibilities of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) which is the head of the science and technology sector. As a result, new policies to foster 27 scientific culture are being designed. Some of the strategies and possible outcomes will be discussed in this presentation.

(3)  Scientists voicing in hot issues: A case study on ‘scientists and media - face to face’ programme

The ‘scientists and media: face to face’ is a program initiated by famous scientists in China aiming at delivering a prompt and concise voice by the science community to the public through media to smash rumors and help the public return to a more sensible level when necessary. The presentation will share several successful cases, such as, a) for releasing the latest science and technology achievements, like Bei-Dou double star navigation system, Heavenly Palace 1 and Shenzhou VIII docked in outer space; b) for scientific explanations on hot issues, such as food safety , PM 2.5; c) for coping with emergencies, like Understanding Nuclear Radiation, Scientifically Counter the Big Flood, On Haze, On Influenza (H7N9), etc. The impact of the initiative and its further development are also to be covered in the presentation.

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Engaging scientists in science communication
Policies and practices

Donghong Cheng   China Association for Science and Technology, China

Steve Miller   University College London, United Kingdom

Julia Tagueña   Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Mexico

Dapeng Wang   China Research Institute for Science Popularization, China

With the S&T progress and social development, the scientific research findings and their applications in real life have more and more significant impact on people’s daily lives. Therefore, the mutual interaction between science community and the public is playing an increasingly important role. On one hand, the democratization of science requires the understanding and participating of the public.

Only with the support and identification of the public, the scientific research could be able to be carried out smoothly and successfully. On the other hand, there is a pressing need for the public to understand the scientific research process to acquire the latest S&T achievements. Scientists play a very important role in responding to the public’s desire, not only because that the scientists undertake the duties and responsibilities of promoting the development of S&T and the society, but also for their unique advantage and authority in the activities of public communication of science.

In recent years, we have seen initiatives of the governments in some countries, as well as of the science community, in encouraging scientists to involve in science communication, considering the combination of scientific research and science communication as an important means of promoting the undertakings of the S&T progress and social development. However, as the operation and management mechanism have yet not been completed, we still have a long way to explore the method and complete strategies on getting scientists involved in science communication.

The panel session will explore the issue, in either general framework or a specific perspective from different angles as policies, researches, as well as case study, to share the experience of different regions and discuss about the ways and measures to promote the mutual development of scientific research and science communication. The proposed session will be organized as a panel with a moderator for about 80min, which consists of 5min brief introduction of the speaker and overview of the objectives of the session, 15 min presentation facilitated by the PowerPoint by each presenter, 20 min for panel and audience discussion, and 5 min conclusion in the end. The panel invites presenters from China, Mexico, and United Kingdom.

(1) Mobilising the troops: 25 years of training scientists to communicate.

When the movement that gave rise to the Public Communication of Science and Technology network was getting started, the demand was that the research community should be much more open with the lay public about the work that they were doing.But there was little in the formal training of young researchers that would prepare them for such activities. Therefore, to enhance the ability of scientists to communicate, activities – workshops, undergraduate courses, master’s degrees – were established around the world to give the research community the training that would help them to talk to their fellow citizens in ways that were appropriate and empowering. But as the years have gone on, so the demands on scientists have increased and developed. No longer is just straightforward “communication” sufficient. The mood is for dialogue, the task is engagement. And new demands are imminent.This contribution will draw on the presenter’s 25 years’  experience in science communication training, both in the United Kingdom and – more importantly – as director of two European networks (ENSCoT 2000-2003, ESConet 2005-2011). In particular, the European projects have left a legacy of science communication training modules that are freely available to the community under Creative Commons. This presentation will also flag up new efforts that aim to take such work into the area of responsible research and innovation.

(2)  Mexican policies for public communication of science and technology

Very recently the Mexican law of science and technology was modified to include public communication of science, technology and innovation within the responsibilities of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) which is the head of the science and technology sector. As a result, new policies to foster 27 scientific culture are being designed. Some of the strategies and possible outcomes will be discussed in this presentation.

(3)  Scientists voicing in hot issues: A case study on ‘scientists and media - face to face’ programme

The ‘scientists and media: face to face’ is a program initiated by famous scientists in China aiming at delivering a prompt and concise voice by the science community to the public through media to smash rumors and help the public return to a more sensible level when necessary. The presentation will share several successful cases, such as, a) for releasing the latest science and technology achievements, like Bei-Dou double star navigation system, Heavenly Palace 1 and Shenzhou VIII docked in outer space; b) for scientific explanations on hot issues, such as food safety , PM 2.5; c) for coping with emergencies, like Understanding Nuclear Radiation, Scientifically Counter the Big Flood, On Haze, On Influenza (H7N9), etc. The impact of the initiative and its further development are also to be covered in the presentation.

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

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