PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Practical Considerations
Research Informing Practice in Public Engagement (and vice versa)

Tiffany Lohwater  

How do scientific institutions (and scientists) benefit from research in public engagement and science communication? How can institutional and individual goals and strategies for practicing public engagement be better informed by research? How can research goals and strategies (and researchers) be better informed by practitioners of public engagement and scientists engaging with the public? How do we evaluate success and failures? These questions are of primary interest to the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology. The Center provides scientists and scientific institutions with resources for having meaningful conversations with the public; convenes scientists, public engagement researchers, and public engagement practitioners; and facilitates dialogue between scientists and the public to discuss the benefits, limits, and implications of scientific knowledge. The proposed workshop aims to foster a discussion about models and tools for collaboration between scientists involved in public engagement, researchers studying engagement, and practitioners. Workshop participants would discuss the growth of a Public Engagement group on Trellis, a free online platform developed by AAAS and currently in beta-testing. Trellis will open more broadly to members of the scientific community in early 2016. The Public Engagement group on Trellis aims to bring together scientists interested in or involved in public engagement with practitioners and scholars involved in efforts to more clearly link theory and practice. A primary objective for the workshop will be to invite participants to review Trellis and discuss how this tool might be used to share information and enable collaboration, as well as suggest additional models and tools.

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