Proposal for PCST, Dunedin

I submitted a proposal for the PCST Conference in Dunedin in April next year, a roundtable discussion involving 4 or so of us (as participants in the Bellagio meeting).  We can discuss who would like to be involved and the shape and direction of the discussion when we meet, but the deadline for proposals is close so we needed to get something in.

Jenni is also planning to submit a proposal, for a grouped series of papers; and Luisa is working with Marina and Alex to present three major surveys (is that the right word?) they have completed on science communication publications.  We should discuss and finalise this at our meeting, assuming the proposal is accepted.

Here is the wording of my proposal:

In November this year, 22 international experts will participate in an intensive 4-day conference at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Centre at Bellagio, Italy.

 Participants include Brian Trench, Bruce Lewenstein, Luisa Massarani, Rick Borcheldt, Jenni Metcalfe, Emily Dawson, Lloyd Davis, Marta Entradas, Maarten van der Sanden, Xuan Liu and Marina Joubert.

 The meeting will discuss of the current state of science communication, and consider strategies to build stronger links between practitioners and researchers.  It will examine how science communication can play a role in policies and actions designed to solve some of the world’s intractable problems, especially those related to the 4 Rockefeller Foundation’s priorities: 

  • Advance Health 
  • Value Ecosystems 
  • Transform cities 
  • Secure livelihoods

This proposal is for a roundtable discussion, where a panel of 4 speakers (drawn from the participants) will summarise the discussions and analyse the outcomes and recommendations from the event.

Science communicators deal with the practice and the theory of engaging governments, decision-makers and various publics in using, applying and generating scientific knowledge.

How can the various publics be engaged? What are the most effective ways to get them interested and involved in the new ideas?

There is also a growing challenge of public resistance to experts and their advice. We live in a world where ‘alternative facts’ and confirmation bias may determine the direction of public discourse and policy actions.

How then should science communicators act? What strategies should they employ to encourage rational consideration of significant issues, leading to appropriate policy responses?

(This proposal is a ‘place-holder’.  Further details with the names of the speakers will be provided after the Bellagio meeting concludes on November 11).