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2020 Communicating Science Seminar

2019 Communicating Science Seminar panelists Bray Beltran, Laura Schmitt-Olabisi, and Ray Wynn-Grant.
2019 Communicating Science Seminar panelists Bray Beltrán, Laura Schmitt Olabisi and Rae Wynn-Grant.
Photo credit: Robb Cohen Photography & Video

The 2020 Communicating Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, February 13, 2020 in Seattle, WA at the AAAS Annual Meeting. Attendance is free (however, please sign-up through the meeting registration system).

This annual seminar provides opportunities for scientists, science communication researchers and public engagement practitioners to discuss and share research and best practices for science communication and public engagement. The seminar is appropriate for participants at all levels of science communication and public engagement – from those who are just beginning to explore ways to incorporate science communication and public engagement into their work, to those who are reflecting on and refining their practices. Through panels, audience discussion and breakout sessions, seminar participants will learn from one another, forge new connections and consider ways to apply what they learn in their own efforts.

At a Glance (Scroll down for complete schedule)

Engaging with the Media on Science-Society Topics

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Building Community for Inclusive Public Engagement with Science

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  1. Networking Session: Finding a Research/Practice Partner
  2. Science Outside the Box: Rethinking Relevance for Millennial Engagement
  3. Using Critique As An Assessment Tool for Science Engagement
  4. Networking Session: Getting Credit for Public Engagement: New Incentives and Foundational Support
  5. Broader Impacts 101 Workshop

Complete Schedule

Engaging with the Media on Science-Society Topics

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Communicating about science can be a challenging endeavor, perhaps more so when discussing topics that have varied political, religious, value-based or ideological perspectives. What does communication research say about what works and what doesn’t, in the context of media engagement? Panelists with perspectives as scientists, public engagement practitioners, journalists and communication researchers share effective strategies for covering science and societal issues, and how others can learn from these successes.

Moderator:

Sara Yeo, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Utah

Speakers:

  • Robin Nabi, Professor of Media Effects and Health Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara, “The Role of Emotion in Influencing Reactions to Science News”
  • Lisa Johnson, Reporter, CBC News, “Define the debate: How to say something that matters amid complex uncertainty”
  • Jeffrey Duchin, Health Officer and Chief, Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization, Public Health - Seattle and King County and the University of Washington, Seattle, “Communicating About Issues of Public Health Significance: Outbreaks, Immunizations and More”

Building Community for Inclusive Public Engagement with Science

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

A more diverse, equitable and inclusive scientific enterprise requires more diversity, equity and inclusion in science communication and public engagement. Those who design and lead public engagement with science initiatives have a significant opportunity to examine how existing practices contribute to exclusion and prioritize and build inclusivity into their efforts. What does it mean to broaden participation in science engagement? How can organizations prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in public engagement? Building on existing efforts, this panel will focus on inclusive programs, practice, and language, advice for having productive conversations about diversity, and research on successful approaches to creating space and building support for marginalized voices both within and through public engagement with science efforts.

Moderator:

Sunshine Menezes, Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Communication, University of Rhode Island Metcalfe Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting

Speakers:

  • Mónica Ramirez-Andreotta, Assistant Professor of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, “Seeing Yourself in the Data: Knowledge/Cultural Brokers in Participatory Research”
  • Rabiah Mayas, Vice President of Education and Guest Experience, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, “Supporting Equity-Oriented Practice in Pre- and Early-Career Scicomm Professionals”
  • Angela Calabrese Barton, Professor, Educational Studies, University of Michigan, “Re-thinking Broadening Participation in Public Engagement with STEM: Professional Learning Tools and Strategies”

 

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  1. Networking Session: Finding a Research/Practice Partner

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This networking forum brings together science communication researchers and public engagement practitioners looking to meet one another and explore potential collaborations. Participants will have an opportunity to think through what they are looking for from a research-practice partnership and what they have to offer, and then group up by general topic interest for guided networking and discussion.

Organizers:

  • Eve Klein, Institute for Learning Innovation
  • Tiffany Lohwater, AAAS
  • Martin Storksdieck, Oregon State University
  1. Science Outside the Box: Rethinking Relevance for Millennial Engagement

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

In this session, we will share results from a unique survey of young adults (ages 18-37) that investigated their interests, motivations, and connections to science. Jen Benoit-Bryan and Peter Linett (Slover Linett) will talk about the survey process, findings and conclusions, while Geoff Hunt (LabX) will talk about how LabX is using this information to help directs its programming. A discussion on how others within the community interpret the results and how they might use the information presented for their own purposes will follow.

Organizer:

  • Geoff Hunt, National Academy of Sciences
  1. Using Critique As An Assessment Tool for Science Engagement

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

From parade floats to pop-up retail, teams working with the Science In Vivo project are developing clever initiatives that find the science engagement angle wherever a crowd gathers. Most of these teams have great experiences, and are happy to report back on what they think they accomplished. However, once activity is underway on site, team members become so involved that they rarely have the chance to step back for perspective. To overcome this obstacle, we borrowed a tool from the arts and humanities: the third-party critique. Working with on-the-ground observers, we are now generating critiques of engagement that consider how activity fits into the bigger context, take note of other meaningful opportunities presented by a particular setting, and surface unintended implications. Join this session for a lively discussion of how and when it is appropriate to use critique to assess science engagement. 

Organizer:

  • Ben Wiehe, MIT Museum, Science Festival Alliance
  1. Networking Session: Getting Credit for Public Engagement: New Incentives and Foundational Support

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Recognizing and supporting public engagement as a central capacity of scientific institutions can expand the pool of scientists doing public engagement and make it more sustainable for those already involved. While this sometimes requires significant changes in institutions, norms and culture, one promising lever for change is the way public engagement is credited for trainees, researchers, and staff. This discussion and networking session is intended for those interested in quantifying the value of engagement; changes in training, promotion, and performance guidelines and the process for bringing these about; and other strategies such as including public engagement in research proposals and publications.

Organizers:

  • Emily Therese Cloyd, AAAS
  • Ali Coffin, Washington State University Vancouver
  1. Broader Impacts 101 Workshop

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop will discuss the National Science Foundation’s broader impacts (BI) criterion, tools for effectively addressing it in your proposal, and ways to integrate public engagement into your research.  The session will be led by Dr. Susan Renoe (University of Missouri) and Dr. Kevin Niemi (University of Wisconsin-Madison) members of the leadership team for the NSF-funded Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society.

Organizers:

  • Kevin Niemi, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Julie Risien, Oregon State University