The communication of research chemistry within Australia is a small, but growing field which has received more focus recently with the establishment of a number of Centres of Excellence (COE) that are funded by the Australian Research Council. These COE’s aim to further science research across a number of universities in strategic areas. They are also mandated to participate in community outreach activities, and hence the increased focus on science communication in academic research areas. One such COE is the ARC COE for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology, which consists of five universities and a number of industry partners.

The Free Radical and Biotechnology COE is involved in a number of outreach activities, including those targeted towards the general public, education, and business, industry and government, with the aim of disseminating quality information to a broad audience. The evaluation of such events is an important monitoring tool for the Centre and is done through a one‐page questionnaire consisting of demographic information and 22 five‐point scale questions ranging from participation in science to perceptions of science communication. This paper will present some of the findings from the accumulated data and discuss the issues it raises. As the questionnaire has been used as a monitoring tool for various audiences a number comparisons between groups can be made. Through the analysis of the questionnaire certain strategic insights have been gained as to how best develop and enhance the science communication strategy for the Free Radical and Biotechnology COE. These are lessons that are also of relevance to other science communication strategies.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Radical approach to science communication
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Felicity Jensz   The University of Melbourne

The communication of research chemistry within Australia is a small, but growing field which has received more focus recently with the establishment of a number of Centres of Excellence (COE) that are funded by the Australian Research Council. These COE’s aim to further science research across a number of universities in strategic areas. They are also mandated to participate in community outreach activities, and hence the increased focus on science communication in academic research areas. One such COE is the ARC COE for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology, which consists of five universities and a number of industry partners.

The Free Radical and Biotechnology COE is involved in a number of outreach activities, including those targeted towards the general public, education, and business, industry and government, with the aim of disseminating quality information to a broad audience. The evaluation of such events is an important monitoring tool for the Centre and is done through a one‐page questionnaire consisting of demographic information and 22 five‐point scale questions ranging from participation in science to perceptions of science communication. This paper will present some of the findings from the accumulated data and discuss the issues it raises. As the questionnaire has been used as a monitoring tool for various audiences a number comparisons between groups can be made. Through the analysis of the questionnaire certain strategic insights have been gained as to how best develop and enhance the science communication strategy for the Free Radical and Biotechnology COE. These are lessons that are also of relevance to other science communication strategies.

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

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