We’ve all heard the term ‘science’.
Everyone knows what ‘communication’ means.
But what happens when you put them together?
Yeah, sure: it adds up to science communication. But is it clear how we should define this? Who actually ‘does’ science communication? What is the audience? Why is it important? And who should pay for it?
In a couple of weeks professionals who work in and around science communication in Australia are getting together to try and work these issues out: it’s called…
Yes, literally it is.
The summit has been designed quite differently to many science conferences. Rather than attendees listening to experts in seminar-style presentations, hands-on interactive workshops are planned – material generated in these will form the basis of a draft strategy to be considered in discussions with leaders from Federal, State and Territory Government departments and agencies, and from non-government, national organisations and peak bodies.
The idea is to make a plan for moving forward – so all of us working in (and listening to) science communication have a joint vision about what it is we’re trying to achieve.
The summit will focus on five contemporary themes:
- It’s a two way street: engaging ALL Australians in the sciences;
- Participative science: encouraging the best in citizen science;
- Beyond tweets and blogs: leveraging the changing media landscape;
- Diminishing degrees of separation: developing collaborative approaches across sectors; and
- Data at work: developing the evidence base to guide future action.
Broader consultation with those interested in science communication has already taken place in the form of a twitter chat forum hosted under the #onsci banner just this past Thursday. A collection of the tweets from this session is available here.
Lots of food for thought.
[image thanks to Loco Steve on flickr]