PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


A Blueprint for Assessing Societal Impact Through Public Engagement

Pedro Russo  

Societal impact of research outputs are difficult to measure. Over the past few decades, there has been a huge increase in the amount of public engagement performed by researchers. These initiatives are generally poorly assessed, with abstract searches for learning impact rather than focusing on development of technique. The assessments that are being implemented tend to be motivated by funding bodies' quest for 'societal impact' and require a focus on abstract metrics that are generally irrelevant and difficult to measure. In this presentation, we describe a new method for assessing public engagement events in research . This evaluation framework, as well as supporting researchers in public engagement, will lead to meaningful appraisals of initiatives such that researchers can receive career development for their work. All of this will lead to a greater respect for public engagement within research institutions, fighting the anti-engagement atmosphere and promoting young researchers to engage with the public and have a impact on society. This paper will be presented on our behalf by Pedro Russo (Leiden Observatory), the co-author.

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