Joining forces for more impact - Bridging the gap between science communication practice and research
Ricarda Ziegler – Wissenschaft im Dialog. Germany
"The shoemaker's son always goes barefoot" – while science communication at its core communicates evidence-based messages, evidence-based approaches are rarely applied when evaluating the success, effect and impact of science communication itself. Many science communication practitioners still work by their own heuristics – mostly “gut feeling” – and science communication researchers often shy away from making practical recommendations from their results. This can lead to misunderstandings, an inefficient use of resources or in the worst case a waste of (public) money.
In our understanding, agenda setting and strategy formulation for science communication on a policy-making level has to be based on an informed understanding of science-society relations. This should translate into projects and activities which are set up according to the best available knowledge. At the same time, science communication researchers need to consider practical limitations and realities if they want to make contributions relevant for science communication practice – not denying the importance of research on the fundamental mechanisms of the public or individuals dealing with science.
This talk will present the argument for more fruitful collaborations between science communication practice and research in order to improve the impact and relevance of both. But how do we achieve this? First results and experiences from the establishment of a national platform on impact and evaluation in Germany will be shared. Supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany’s national science communication organisation Science in Dialogue has recently started to work on bridging the gap between science communication practice and research by implementing such a platform.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.