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2021 Communicating Science Seminar

The 2021 Communicating Science Seminar was held virtually on Friday, February 5 (read the news story about the session). The seminar included two panels, followed by breakout sessions on a variety of topics. Watch recordings of the two main sessions here -- full descriptions and schedule are found below the videos. 

Public Engagement During a Pandemic: Lessons from the Frontlines

Using Partnerships to Improve Public Engagement Across Sectors

Program at a Glance (scroll down for complete descriptions)

Public Engagement During a Pandemic: Lessons from the Frontlines 

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time

Using Partnerships to Improve Public Engagement Across Sectors

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Breakouts

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time 

  • Make Your Own Science Zine! A DIY Workshop for Communicating Science with Art
  • Tools for Developing Public Engagement Activities and Building Capacity
  • Equity-Centered Community Design for Environmental Communication and Justice

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time

  • Stuck in the Middle (School) with You: Inspiring the Next Generation of STEM Innovators
  • "RAPID"-Funded Research on STEM Learning and Engagement in the Midst of the COVID-19 and Racial Justice Crises
  • Research-Practice Partnerships for Advancing Public Engagement with Science

Complete Schedule

PANEL: Public Engagement During a Pandemic: Lessons from the Frontlines

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time

How is a global pandemic affecting public engagement with science? Can public engagement build connections between and among marginalized communities, scientists, and policymakers to make decisions, and prepare for future crises? How are scientists and institutions moving their engagement online, continuing to make it interactive, and addressing issues of access and inclusivity to better engage with communities? How is science communication and engagement changing and being changed by these communities and settings? This session will bring together scientists who engage with the public, science communication researchers, and public engagement professionals, to discuss current and future challenges and opportunities.

Moderator:

Elyse Aurbach, Public Engagement Lead, University of Michigan

Speakers:

  • Crystal Emery, Founder & CEO, URU - The Right to Be, "Our Humanity: Transforming the Narrative Around Engaging with Marginalized Communities"
  • Alicia Torres, Senior Director Communication Science and Hispanic Outreach, Child Trends, "How to Effectively Communicate Science to Underserved Audiences During the Pandemic"
  • Stephen White, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Business Development, and External Affairs, Center of Science and Industry (COSI), "Public-Private Partnerships to Deliver Education Equity and Bridge the Digital Divide"

 

PANEL: Using Partnerships to Improve Public Engagement Across Sectors

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Research-practice partnerships can take shape and build on different components of public engagement with science. Social scientists who study science engagement can improve the outcomes, especially when their work is done in partnership with those practicing the engagement and with the public – and when results are shared and discussed outside the research community. This session will bring together a range of perspectives on partnerships in public engagement with science, including those of public participants, to discuss what they are learning about the benefits and challenges.

Moderator:

Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange, American Geophysical Union

Projects/Speakers:

Community Non-Negotiables for Equitable Science Partnerships and Program Evaluation

  • Tanya Schuh, Youth in Action (YA!) Program Manager, CLUES - Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio
  • Karyl Askew, Owner & Principal Consultant, Karyl Askew Consulting, LLC

Facilitating Genuine Engagement Between Scientists and Community in South Texas

  • Francisco Guajardo, CEO, Museum of South Texas History
  • Alexis Racelis, Associate Professor of Agroecology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

 

BREAKOUT SESSIONS 

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time (3 simultaneous sessions per timeslot)

  1. Make Your Own Science Zine! A DIY Workshop for Communicating Science with Art
  • Christine Liu, Two Photon Art, UC Berkeley, 
  • Tera Johnson, Two Photon Art, UC Berkeley
  • June Hong, Zine Fest Organizer

Bring a sheet of paper, a pen, and a science idea you'd like to communicate to make your own science zine! This interactive workshop will be led by sci-artists and a zine fest organizer to share the power of scicomm through art.

  1. Tools for Developing Public Engagement Activities and Building Capacity

Part 1: The Broader Impacts Wizard: A Novel Tool for Developing Public Engagement Activities

  • Janice McDonnell, 4-H Science Agent & Associate Professor, Rutgers University
  • Megan Heitmann, Research Administrator, Iowa State University
  • Susan Renoe, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, Extension & Engagement, University of Missouri

The newly-redesigned Broader Impacts Wizard is a novel tool for developing effective, impactful public engagement activities which address the NSF’s broader impacts criterion. This fun, interactive, hands-on session will guide you through its use.

Part 2: Building Capacity for Institutional Support of Public Engagement

  • Rose Hendricks, Kavli Civic Science Fellow, American Society for Cell Biology
  • Lexi Shultz, Vice President of Public Affairs, American Geophysical Union
  • Howard Gobstein, Executive Vice President, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities

When scientists have support and resources, they can engage more and make a greater impact. Participants will explore examples of institutional support in their own circles and develop plans to advocate for changes that contribute to a stronger culture of science engagement.

  1. Equity-Centered Community Design for Environmental Communication and Justice
  • Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, University of Arizona
  • Dorsey Kaufmann, Multi-media Specialist, University of Arizona

An Environmental Justice (EJ) Framework was developed to uncover the underlying assumptions that may contribute to and produce unequal protection. To advance the field of science communication and public engagement with communities who have experienced environmental and social injustices, this session will highlight how to involve communities in the science/risk communication and information design process and share data in an equitable and action-oriented manner.

 

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (3 simultaneous sessions per timeslot)

  1. Stuck in the Middle (School) with You: Inspiring the Next Generation of STEM Innovators
  • Paula Garcia Todd, Global Strategic Manager, DuPont
  • Tamar Goulet, Professor of Biology, University of Mississippi
  • Lekelia Jenkins, Associate Professor, Arizona State University

How do you engage and inspire tweens and teens to pursue STEM? AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors will share how they are using media, arts, and hands-on science activities, and participants can share their own stories and work with peers to develop plans.

  1. "RAPID"-Funded Research on STEM Learning and Engagement in the Midst of the COVID-19 and Racial Justice Crises
  • Jamie Bell, Project Director, Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
  • Angela Calabrese Barton, Professor of Educational Studies, University of Michigan
  • Joanne Jones-Rizzi, Vice President of Science, Equity and Education, Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Leslie Herrenkohl, Professor of Learning Sciences and Science Education, University of Michigan

This session will use preliminary findings and stories from projects recently funded by the NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning program on learning about COVID-19 in real time and understanding systemic racism, to catalyze a discussion about the impacts of these crisis on the design and study of activities and settings for engagement.

  1. Research-Practice Partnerships for Advancing Public Engagement with Science
  • John Besley, Ellis N. Brandt Professor of Communication, Michigan State University
  • Bronwyn Bevan, Director of Research, The Wallace Foundation
  • Sarah Garlick, Director of Science Policy and Outreach, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation
  • Nalini Nadkarni, Professor of Biology, University of Utah
  • Karen Peterman, Founder, Karen Peterman Consulting, Co.

In this session we will share practical insights from recent research-practice partnerships in the public engagement space, and we will facilitate discussion among participants about the benefits and challenges of this approach.