PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Online engagement across five continents. How does I’m a Scientist compare and contrast around the world?

Shane McCracken  

How does a successful online science engagement program originating in the UK translate to other countries? Online engagement can cross borders and breakdown barriers between scientists and the public, but implementing a program within different cultural, economic and regulatory environments requires adaptation on the ground. I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! has been highly successful in the UK since its launch in 2008. This success has seen the program adopted around the world with varying degrees of growth and sustainability. I'm a Scientist, has been launched in seven countries; UK, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, Spain, USA and Australia, with Vietnam being the next to join, and has involved participants from many more locations. I'm a Scientist is a free online event where school students and members of the public can meet and interact with scientists. It's an X Factor-style competition between scientists, where students are the judges. Students challenge the scientists over fast-paced online text-based live chats. They ask the scientists anything they want, and vote for their favourite scientist to win a prize of £500 to communicate their work with the public. What makes I'm a Scientist so unique and successful? What can we learn from its implementation in diverse settings? The panelists will discuss the differing motivations and drivers for establishing I'm a Scientist in their home countries as well as the challenges and adjustments they have made to the program to tailor it to their circumstances. Find out how the carefully designed format is so effective at developing the communication skills of scientists, inspiring children and supporting teachers and how digital tools enable unparalleled evaluation and analysis of interactions between scientists and the public. The panelists will be answering audience questions about the program and you will be able take part in one of our online live chats with panel members based in their home countries.

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