PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Let's rethink the tools for Scicomm evaluation

Empar Vengut ClimentInstitute of Welfare, University of València. Spain


  • Isabel Mendoza-PoudereuxInstitute of Welfare, University of Valà¨ncia   Spain
  • Carolina Moreno-CastroInstitute of Welfare, University of Valà¨ncia   Spain
  • Ana Serra PeralesInstitute of Welfare, University of Valà¨ncia  
Science communicators spend a lot of time planning and delivering their activities. Lately, there has been an increased interest in knowing whether their efforts are worthy and if they have an impact. For this reason, different evaluation methods have been developed to assess the success and effectiveness of science communication.

Online metrics and questionnaires are the main evaluation tools for online and social media communication. The number of attendees usually measures the impact of face-to-face activities; and questionnaires and other evaluation methods can also be used to check whether the outputs and outcomes were reached. However, one of the biggest inconveniences of surveys and questionnaires is the lack of time the communicator and the audience have to conduct the evaluation.

In this regard, technology can lend us a hand, especially when evaluating activities addressed to young people. PERSIST_EU consortium created an ICT platform that allows measurement of the change in knowledge, perception, beliefs and trust, among young people, in four of the current scientific hot topics: climate change, vaccines, GMOs and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). This tool has been validated with nearly 500 university students from 5 countries: Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Germany and Spain; and it is available for its free use in six different languages (Italian, Portuguese, Slovak, German, Spanish, Polish and English). 

The results of the validation activities were encouraging, and we hope this platform can be also used as the basis for the creation of other customisable tools for the assessment of Scicomm activities. Namely, we think this kind of evaluation could be implemented in mobile apps, already used in conferences and other activities. If we are carrying on scicomm activities, why not involve the audience in their evaluation by acknowledging they are a part of research?

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Category: Insight talk
Theme: Transformation