We’re rethinking science communication!

On 6 December 2019, the first Swedish Rethinkerspace meeting was held within the EU-funded RETHINK project. A mix of science communicators of different backgrounds and perspectives met to discuss and investigate the current status of the field.

The Swedish Rethinkerspace in action. Photo: Hanna Mellin / VA.

A Rethinkerspace is a heterogeneous group of around 15 participants of mixed transdisciplinary backgrounds and perspectives that serves as a learning environment where the collective process of inquiry, experimentation and reflective learning takes place. Seven “Rethinkerspaces” have been established within the project: in Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, and the UK. 

“Building local communities of practice to understand how science communication professions are evolving through digitalisation and open science is at the core of these activities. The Rethinkerspace generated a lot of interesting discussions and ideas that will now be studied within the project to see what similarities and differences there are across Europe,” commented Hanna Mellin, RETHINK’s project leader at VA (Public & Science), who organised the workshop.

The workshop was the first of four Swedish workshops within the project and focused on the motivations of various actors to communicate science and barriers to do so. Invited participants included representatives from media, academia, civil society, museums and the business world. The participants were then asked to discuss what influence digitalisation and open science are having on the field of science communication as well as on their daily work. The Rethinkerspace wrapped up by discussing possible solutions to the identified barriers.

The RETHINK project is investigating how science is being communicated through Europe today. What are the barriers to effective science communication and what opportunities are being overlooked? By gathering people engaged in science communication, but with different perspectives and aims, in Rethinkerspaces, RETHINK aims to create new best practices for science communication in the future.

The EU RETHINK project brings together six partners as well as four linked third-parties, including VA (Public & Science), from ten different European countries. The Coordinator is the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

See also RETHINK’s international website: www.rethinkscicomm.eu or @RETHINKscicomm on Twitter.

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