Healthy food, the climate and immigration. These are the three research areas that stir up the most debate amongst the general public, according to Swedish science journalists. Twelve journalists were interviewed to investigate what influences their reporting of scientific issues in a new report, recently published by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).
The Star-Spotting Experiment, this year’s citizen science project in connection with the European Researchers’ Night events in Sweden, is now well underway. Members of the public across Sweden are helping scientists to measure light pollution by counting stars in the sky and recording the data in a specially-designed app. Here we catch up with Lena Söderström, Project Manager at VA (Public & Science), who is coordinating the Star-Spotting Experiment, to find out how the project is progressing.
Science Shops can be an effective model for developing mutually beneficial relationships between academia and society. By working together to find solutions to societal issues, students/researchers get to work on real-life problems and civil society organisations get access to research expertise and new knowledge.
“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.
What is the bioeconomy? Is it always climate-friendly? Does it mean the sustainable use of natural resources? What are renewable resources and bio-based production? Does the bioeconomy include the circular economy and ecosystem services, or anything else? Two workshops held in December and January in Stockholm brought together a range of people with an interest in this field to discuss ways to increase public interest and knowledge about the bioeconomy.Läs mer
Street lamps, illuminated signs and buildings – lights at night improve safety and make cities more attractive, but have also been shown to have negative effects for humans and animals. The more light there is, the fewer stars you can see in the night sky. In this year’s mass experiment, more than 11,000 pupils, families and other members of the public will help scientists measure light pollution by counting stars in the sky.
To what extent do researchers want to communicate with the external world? What barriers do they face and what type of support would be of help to them? Are they aware about the transition towards open science and what do they think about it? This week, a survey on communication and open science is being sent to a large proportion of researchers at Swedish universities.
A new anthology on youth and digital media contains a chapter on the News Evaluator. The open access book is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, and includes contributions from Denmark, Estonia, Finland Norway and Sweden.
As part of the EU SciShops project consortium, VA (Public & Science) has been helping to produce a range of resources to support both new and established Science Shops. The resources address various aspects of setting up and running a Science Shop and take into account different types of organisational models.