Scandinavian countries have small and highly dispersed populations, but are also among the best digitally connected. What does that mean for science communication? In a EuroScience Open Forum session on 26 July in Manchester, scicomm activities run in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, were presented and their success factors and challenges discussed.
At a lively session at the EuroScience Open Forum 2016 (ESOF), a diverse international audience of some 80 communicators, researchers and professionals voted that making science a part of wider culture the biggest opportunity for public engagement.
Before presenting new political initiatives or new legislative proposals the EU Commission often holds an open consultation where citizens and organisations are invited to submit their views on a particular matter. The consultation on the Horizon 2020 Science with and for Society Work Programme aims at obtaining ”views and contributions from a broad constituency on the potential strategy and priorities of the ‘Science with and for Society’ Work Programme for the period 2018-2020.” VA’s answer to the consultation was submitted in early June 2016.
They can be found outside the supermarket, at the bus stop, at the swimming pool: public notice boards, covered in handwritten notes, messages and posters. But what is the function of the physical notice board in the digital age? Who is saying what? And why? Scientists are now seeking the help of school pupils to map the contents of public notice boards around Sweden.
Istanbul was the host city for the 14th global PCST science communication conference that took place between 26 and 28 April 2016. The conference gathered some 300 delegates from 40 countries to discuss a wide range of issues in science communication practice, training and research. This year VA (Public & Science) contributed three engaging sessions to the programme on citizen science, factors influencing public confidence in science and ways of influencing Horizon2020, respectively.
Last year, Swedish school pupils helped scientists to bury over three thousand tea bags in the countryside. The Tea Bag Experiment is a mass experiment to investigate soil decomposition rates in different parts of the country and how the process is being affected by climate change. The results have now been published and show that the first phase of decomposition is particularly affected by a warmer climate.
VA was one of the organisations especially invited to a hearing organised by the Committee on Education in the Swedish Parliament in March 2016. The purpose was for the MP’s to get input for the upcoming research bill which the Swedish Government is expected to present to the parliament in October. VA’s Secretary General Cissi Askwall presented the organisation’s suggestions for how best to promote and strengthen science-society interaction in Sweden. The suggestions have also been sent to the Ministry of Education and Research.