PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Training the next generation of science communicators

Alexander Gerber  

In an increasingly digitised, commercialised, and politicised scientific environment, communication practise has changed more dramatically in the past few years than in the decades before. Being Head of a science communication department with dozens of employees, now requires management and leadership skills, communication governance and controlling, public affairs and diplomacy, risk and crisis management, etc. The proposed panel intends to discuss how the concepts and contents of training programmes have changed alongside these seismic shifts in our profession. How do we prepare the next generation of science communicators? Which lessons have we learned from offering Bachelors and Masters's degrees or PGDs in different countries, full- or part-time, on campus, entirely virtual or blended? What are the obstacles in updating curricula? Which methodological skill-set will professionals need? Students at Rhine-Waal have just launched the beta-version of a global search engine for young people to identify the programme which fits best to their needs: http://www.scicommfinder.info/map-2 (please note that this is an early beta version which is just about to be shared with the other course leaders). By the end of 2015, the platform will be launched properly. A team of students will then produce video interviews with course leaders from around the world to showcase the variety of approaches and explain the differences between courses. These statements could effectively be used in the proposed conference session to represent those institutions which cannot be present in Istanbul. If considered a valuable contribution to the PCST conference, this session could possibly be scheduled back-to-back with the "Careers" session which Pádraig Murphy has proposed. // Prof. Alexander Gerber, Rhine-Waal Dr Will J. Grant, Australian National University Dr. Simon J. Lock, University College London Marina Joubert, Stellenbosch Dr. Pádraig Murphy, Dublin City University Prof. David Pearson, Laurentian

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