Why should the public be involved in science?

“For research to be really impactful, the public has to be involved. They need to understand the research and we need to help to connect the research to what people care about,” says Imran Khan, Head of Public Engagement at Wellcome Trust in the UK, one of the world’s largest research funders. But do the public wish to be involved in science? The German and Swedish Science Barometers, the EU-project ORION Open Science European public attitudes survey and the Wellcome Trust Global Monitor have all asked this question.

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Sparking interest in Science through Space

How do I maximise my chances of becoming an astronaut? What does it feel like to look down on earth from space? These and many more questions were answered by astronauts Christer Fuglesang and Chiaki Mukai as they took part in a conference organised by Umbilical Design and VA (Public & Science) on 8 October in Stockholm.

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Trust – a key factor for science in the digital age

Thanks to digital media, science has become more accessible – but which actors are trustworthy? This was discussed at the seminar “Has digital media changed how people feel about science?”, arranged by Vetenskap & Allmänhet and the Royal Institution of Great Britain on 12 July at the ESOF conference in Toulouse, France.

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VA talks science shops at the Living Knowledge conference

The 8th Living Knowledge conference was held in Budapest from 30 May to 1 June. Two VA colleagues, Helen Garrison and Martin Bergman, joined other SciShops partners to present some of the project’s work so far and gain inspiration from others in the Living Knowledge network.

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ECSA 2018 – post-conference reflections on citizen science

The second international conference of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) was held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 4–5 June 2018. VA’s Fredrik Brounéus and Dick Kasperowski from the University of Gothenburg gained inspiration for their current work building a Swedish national portal for citizen science. And, as often with conferences, they returned home with more questions than answers.

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How to engage the public thinking transdisciplinary – VA at Eusea annual conference

When engaging the public in science communication activities, it is crucial to choose topics close to hearts of the audience. Whether the audience is interested in climate change, football or health, the topics are transdisciplinary by nature – but how transdisciplinary are the activities at science festivals?

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VA goes Down Under to share experiences at PCST 2018

New Zealand was the host of the 15th global PCST science communication conference that took place in April 2018. Two VA colleagues travelled to the coastal city of Dunedin to present some of VA’s work in citizen science, scientific literacy and public engagement. The conference gathered around 400 delegates from over 40 countries to discuss the latest practices in the diverse and growing field of science communication.

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