Communities are increasingly being recognised as a vital partner in the development of sustainable scientific solutions. In supporting this partnership science communicators have a key role to play in the development of community engagement processes that go beyond public relations and education and give communities greater ownership and control over research outcomes. The ‘Catalyst’ Project, based on the NSW central coast, provides an example of effective community engagement processes in action. Using this project as a case study we will discuss the principles, benefits and challenges of undertaking community engagement processes as an integrated part of scientific research and how these principles align or clash with traditional organisation communication approaches.
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