This panel session presents the experience of the European Science Communication Network (ESConet), which has created and delivered innovative science communication training workshops to early career scientific researchers, aimed at empowering them to engage with the media, policy-makers and various publics.

A presentation of parts of these modules at this session, coupled with the reflections and insights of ESConet members on their experience of incorporating dialogue and debate in the workshops, aims to aid the professional practice of science communication experts elsewhere.

From 2005 to May 2008, European Commission-funded ESConet (www.esconet.org), comprising 17 participating institutions from 12 countries, created 12 original science communication teaching modules that delivered core communication skills to researchers, but also encouraged scientists to reflect on their audiences, as well as the social, cultural and ethical dimensions of their scientific work.

ESConet trainers have been drawn from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, including science communication academic researchers, science journalists, science public relations experts, and scientists. To achieve the network's aim of empowering researchers to communicate in the current climate of dialogue and debate in science and society interaction, each module focused on a distinct area of communication and public engagement with science.

Each workshop began with the module, "Who are You Communicating With and Why?", which outlined core concepts in communications. This was followed by professional skills-based modules including "Media Writing" and "Talking to the Media", which gave scientists skills in press release writing and performing in media interviews, skills essential for any effective engagement with the public through the news media. Researchers also undertook modules including "Communicating Risk", "Public Science on the Web" and "Presenting Research to Policy-Makers" that equiped them for specific communication situations with different audiences.

ESConet has also delivered discursive modules – these included “Talking Science and Listening”, "Science as Culture" and "Challenging Science" that encouraged young researchers to engage with the socio-cultural dimensions of contemporary scientific endeavour.

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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

How can dialogue and debate feature in science communication training?

Fahy Declan   Dublin City University

This panel session presents the experience of the European Science Communication Network (ESConet), which has created and delivered innovative science communication training workshops to early career scientific researchers, aimed at empowering them to engage with the media, policy-makers and various publics.

A presentation of parts of these modules at this session, coupled with the reflections and insights of ESConet members on their experience of incorporating dialogue and debate in the workshops, aims to aid the professional practice of science communication experts elsewhere.

From 2005 to May 2008, European Commission-funded ESConet (www.esconet.org), comprising 17 participating institutions from 12 countries, created 12 original science communication teaching modules that delivered core communication skills to researchers, but also encouraged scientists to reflect on their audiences, as well as the social, cultural and ethical dimensions of their scientific work.

ESConet trainers have been drawn from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, including science communication academic researchers, science journalists, science public relations experts, and scientists. To achieve the network's aim of empowering researchers to communicate in the current climate of dialogue and debate in science and society interaction, each module focused on a distinct area of communication and public engagement with science.

Each workshop began with the module, "Who are You Communicating With and Why?", which outlined core concepts in communications. This was followed by professional skills-based modules including "Media Writing" and "Talking to the Media", which gave scientists skills in press release writing and performing in media interviews, skills essential for any effective engagement with the public through the news media. Researchers also undertook modules including "Communicating Risk", "Public Science on the Web" and "Presenting Research to Policy-Makers" that equiped them for specific communication situations with different audiences.

ESConet has also delivered discursive modules – these included “Talking Science and Listening”, "Science as Culture" and "Challenging Science" that encouraged young researchers to engage with the socio-cultural dimensions of contemporary scientific endeavour.

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

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