“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 ScienceEuropean public attitudes survey and the Wellcome Trust Global Monitor have all asked this question.
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.
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.
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?
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.