Are we getting through? Evaluating impact and success of science communication and engagement activities

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Science communication or public engagement with science (PES) has become a part of contemporary human societies. Today, PES is essential for enabling interactions between researchers, policymakers, and various publics. It is a transformative process that does not merely serve as a pure means of information exchange. Instead, it is necessary for conveying knowledge as facts and equipping the public to make versed decisions. In practice, however, it is a complex challenge influenced by socio-cultural, political, and institutional interests. This variability precludes researchers and practitioners from using a one-size-fits-all approach to engaging other societal actors on issues that might affect them, including responding to global environmental change. A fundamental gap in scholarship and the focus of this research remains on how best researchers and practitioners can engage the various publics in meaningful - debates on, for example, climate change or declining fisheries. This research, particularly, examines how interactive engagement might enable researchers to see the value in listening to, learning from, and working together with the public to find solutions to our changing global environments. In response to this gap, the research builds on current literature on boundary-spanning and public engagement, drawing on multiple theories to examine and inform how best researchers and practitioners can engage other societal actors (herein, publics) on global environmental change.

University of TasmaniaInstitute of Marine and Antarctic StudiesCSIRO Department of the EnvironmentGEOS
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