Going Public: Investing in Science Communication for Scientists

Sunday, 15 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 220C (San Jose Convention Center)
This interactive session will explore questions about how science communication is funded: Can we define our return on investment for science communication? Do publicly funded scientists have a responsibility to communicate and share their knowledge, and are they appropriately supported, financially, to do so? What is the role of a funding agency (private or public) in enabling science engagement? Is there comprehensive data on the extent that science communication is currently funded? How can we best move forward in the absence of comprehensive data? Currently, scientists lack adequate infrastructure (institutional, cultural, and financial) to support public engagement with peer and non-peer audiences. The federal government invests in many science communication and engagement activities, but information is lacking about the extent of these investments, where investments are being made, and return on investment. With a U.S. investment of nearly $450 billion annually in science and technology, support for scientists to share their knowledge and insights is patchy, piecemeal, and relatively small. This session will predominantly be a lively moderated discussion with the speakers, discussants, and the audience. Speakers will share their perspectives during the first hour of the session; the remaining time will be used for discussion.
Keegan Sawyer, National Academy of Sciences
Brooke Smith, COMPASS and Russ Campbell, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Brooke Smith, COMPASS
Kai N. Lee, David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Russ Campbell, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Rick Borchelt, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy
Science Communication in the U.S. Federal Government
Bruce M. Alberts, University of California
Funding Science Communication Activities in Academia
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