PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Mobilisation for Public Engagement
Benchmarking the Practices of Research Institutes in different scientific areas

Marta Entradas  

Martin W. Bauer  

Studies on scientists' practices of Public Engagement (PE) have pointed to variations in PE between disciplines. If variations at the individual level are reflected at the institutional level, then research institutes (RIs) in Social Sciences (and Humanities) should perform higher in PE and be more involved in dialogue with the public. Using a nearly complete sample of RIs in Portugal 2014 (n=234, 61% response rate), we investigate how PE varies in intensity, type of activities and target audiences across scientific areas. Three benchmark findings emerge. Firstly, the Social Sciences and the Humanities profile differently in PE between themselves and from other sciences. Secondly, the Social Sciences overall perform more PE activities, but the Natural Sciences mobilise more effort for PE. Thirdly, while the Social Sciences play a greater role in civic PE, the Natural Sciences are more likely to perform educational activities. Finally, this study shows that the overall size of RIs, available PE funding and PE staffing are contributing factors to the culture of PE at institutions.

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