In the last decade the number of science communication training programs has increased worldwide.There are many differences between the programs, as was concluded in the PCST 2008 workshop on science communication curricula and in our analysis of 20 university programs. This analysis (based on information on the internet and interviews) showed that the focus of many of the programs is not very clear, nor is the way the particular programs relate to the students’ future professions.

An overview of science communication professional profiles would clarify the various tasks of the professionals and be a starting point to develop educational programs. As far as we know such an overview of professional profiles is lacking. One of the aims of our research at Delft University of Technology is to design a model of science communication professional profiles that may be used worldwide as a basis to draw up science communication curricula and to stress the distinctive features of the programs. The model can be the starting point to formulate competence profiles aimed at recruitment and selection of SC professionals and to create routes for professional development (refresher courses/ post-graduate courses). The model we designed (version 1.0) has been derived from a model for the communication domain that was recently developed by educational experts and experts from the communication practice, commissioned by the Dutch Association of Communication professionals Logeion. This model consists of six key tasks / activities communication professionals perform: to analyze, to advise, to create, to organize, to guide and to manage communication processes. Each of these activities is described on six levels. The responsibilities and complexity of the described activities increase from one level to the next. For each of the 36 cells in the matrix it was made explicit 1) which actions a communication professional performs, 2) what could be the output of the act, 3) what a professional has to know in order to perform the task and 4) what kind of skills (s)he needs to have. For each professional a profile can be created: a combination of activities on the same or on different levels.

Based on a workshop with science communication professionals, a survey of professionals and a workshop with science communication educators in The Netherlands we came up with a first version of the model developed for the Science communication domain. During the PCST 2010 conference we will present and explain the model and discuss its content and feasibility. We will focus on the profiles and the way they can be used to develop science communication curricula.

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Science communication professional profiles as a starting point to develop science communication curricula

C. Wehrmann   Delft University of Technology,Faculty of Applied Sciences, Science Education & Communication

In the last decade the number of science communication training programs has increased worldwide.There are many differences between the programs, as was concluded in the PCST 2008 workshop on science communication curricula and in our analysis of 20 university programs. This analysis (based on information on the internet and interviews) showed that the focus of many of the programs is not very clear, nor is the way the particular programs relate to the students’ future professions.

An overview of science communication professional profiles would clarify the various tasks of the professionals and be a starting point to develop educational programs. As far as we know such an overview of professional profiles is lacking. One of the aims of our research at Delft University of Technology is to design a model of science communication professional profiles that may be used worldwide as a basis to draw up science communication curricula and to stress the distinctive features of the programs. The model can be the starting point to formulate competence profiles aimed at recruitment and selection of SC professionals and to create routes for professional development (refresher courses/ post-graduate courses). The model we designed (version 1.0) has been derived from a model for the communication domain that was recently developed by educational experts and experts from the communication practice, commissioned by the Dutch Association of Communication professionals Logeion. This model consists of six key tasks / activities communication professionals perform: to analyze, to advise, to create, to organize, to guide and to manage communication processes. Each of these activities is described on six levels. The responsibilities and complexity of the described activities increase from one level to the next. For each of the 36 cells in the matrix it was made explicit 1) which actions a communication professional performs, 2) what could be the output of the act, 3) what a professional has to know in order to perform the task and 4) what kind of skills (s)he needs to have. For each professional a profile can be created: a combination of activities on the same or on different levels.

Based on a workshop with science communication professionals, a survey of professionals and a workshop with science communication educators in The Netherlands we came up with a first version of the model developed for the Science communication domain. During the PCST 2010 conference we will present and explain the model and discuss its content and feasibility. We will focus on the profiles and the way they can be used to develop science communication curricula.

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