What Scientists Think About Public Engagement: New Data, Insights, and Directions

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Marshall Ballroom East (Marriott Wardman Park)
This symposium brings together a multinational panel of leading science communication researchers. Speakers share new evidence from recent research on understanding scientists’ motivations and expectations regarding public engagement. This research challenges  common assumptions about scientists’ attitudes and behaviors toward outreach and highlights the types of communication goals they prioritize. The session places substantial emphasis on defining an agenda for future research on public engagement, including issues related to data quality, generalizability, cross-cultural comparisons, and the influence of new media. Speakers discuss what their research suggests about the “responsibility” of scientists to engage with public audiences about their research and about salient STEM issues more broadly. Recent editorials in Science and the 2015 creation of the Alan I. Leshner Institute for Public Engagement with Science demonstrate the continued commitment of AAAS to empower scientist communicators and facilitate meaningful scientist-public dialogues. Academic research focused on the “science of science communication” will help translate this commitment more effectively into practice.
Anthony Dudo, University of Texas, Austin
Dominique Brossard, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Scientists and Synthetic Biology: New Science, New Media, (New) Public Engagement
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