RETHINK was an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project that aimed to bring about meaningful, long-term change in science communication to maximise the opportunities and overcome the challenges of today’s science communication landscape. VA (Public & Science) was a third party in this three year project, which ran from February 2019 to March 2022.



The mission of RETHINK was to improve the quality of interactions between science and society by providing concrete recommendations and training resources for nurturing open and reflexive science-society interfaces.

RETHINK:

  • mapped the science communication ecosystem including relations, action repertoires and responsibilities of the actors involved in this ecosystem
  • characterized the interactions between science and society and the opening up of science
  • investigated the effects that digitalisation is having on sensemaking practices as well as in the quality of interactions between science and society
  • provided a picture of current science communication training; potentially revealing gaps in its scope given today’s challenges and priorities and revealing science communicators, especially those on digital platforms, who are currently underserved
  • created seven “Rethinkerspaces”: a network of stakeholders that fed the research in the project by mapping national landscapes but also by becoming test beds to observe, experiment and learn with new strategies

Outputs

  • new ways of training those who engage in science communication, including those who might be underserved by current training – such as bloggers and social media commentators
  • online briefs aimed at changing current science communication practices to break down barriers preventing open R&I and reach underserved audiences across the European Union
  • strategies to improve individual and collective sensemaking by enhancing its openness and reflexivity
  • guidance on policy will also be provided to create an environment that encourages open R&I.

All of these outputs are open access, as is the data generated during the research process to encourage a broad discussion and maximise uptake.

Rethinkerspaces

Seven “Rethinkerspaces” were established in Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden and the UK respectively. A Rethinkerspace is a heterogeneous group of around 15 participants of mixed transdisciplinary backgrounds and perspectives that serves as a learning environment where the collective process of inquiry, experimentation and reflective learning will take place.

The RETHINK project brought together six partners as well as four linked Third Parties from ten European countries. The Coordinator was the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

Partners:

Third parties:

Further information

Read more about the project on the Rethink website.
If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Gustav Bohlin at VA.
You can also follow the project on Twitter: @RETHINKscicomm

Read articles about Rethink:


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