Rethinking SciComm – sensemaking and quality in focus at virtual workshops



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In October and November, the Swedish Rethinkerspace, part of the EU RETHINK project, met for the second time. The workshop, which due to the Covid-19 pandemic was divided into two digital meetings, aimed to dive deeper into how people make sense of science communication, and how to assess quality in digital science communication. 

The Swedish Rethinkerspace deep in thought while discussing sensemaking.

Drawing upon the results of an interview study conducted within the project on how people make sense of science communication, the participants of the Rethinkerspace were asked to reflect upon the implications of people’s sensemaking mechanisms for science communication. The Rethinkerspace pointed out that as people mainly trust their peers when making sense of the surrounding world, there is a need for scicomm to be short, accessible, and friendly. Collaboration with actors that have good contacts within society was also mentioned as an important factor for success.

For the second meeting, quality in digital science communication was in focus. In a Delphi study conducted by researchers within the project, scicomm scholars from all over the world reflected upon quality criteria in digital scicomm and ways to assess it. The Rethinkerspace participants then reflected upon the scholars’ answers and added their own perspectives based upon their experience of working hands-on with scicomm.

The data collected during the workshops will be analysed by researchers affiliated with the RETHINK project and presented in an upcoming report.

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: or @RETHINKscicomm on Twitter.

Public & Science Sweden

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Vetenskap & Allmänhet

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