Stronger institutional support for public engagement is necessary and inclusive practices should be built into public engagement training and relationships, argue AAAS Center for Public Engagement staff Elana Kimbrell, Mary Catherine Longshore, and Gemima Philippe in a Perspective recently published in Frontiers in Communication.
The paper discusses the Center’s approach to supporting scientists, which prioritizes representative and accessible science communication training, resources (e.g., funding and staff and peer support), opportunities to practice engagement, and rewards and incentives for doing engagement. “We describe how our programs build scientists’ engagement skills and institutional capacity, and discuss how they advance thoughtful, accessible, and representative engagement,” said Kimbrell.
“Reflecting on our programs gave us a chance to consider the barriers and opportunities that have shaped our approach and how we can encourage other scientific institutions to value, celebrate, and support the work of their researchers,” said Longshore.
The paper invites other scientific institutions to consider how their own public engagement programs can reflect and incorporate society’s diverse needs and concerns and how they might create inclusive public engagement support mechanisms that serve the public and strengthen the scientific enterprise.
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