Masters/Honours student project: SCICOMM SCICOMM by stealth: engaging the unengaged in science

Project Status: 

*Photo credit: Jeff Hester from Ocean Image Bank

Brief project description:

Efforts that aim to tackle public understanding and engagement in science typically assume that providing people with more information (e.g. via blogs, seminars, brochures, etc.) will result in better understanding of and engagement in science (the knowledge deficit model). The evidence, however, does not support this. Rather, recent research shows that science conversations are more likely to lead to the deep and longer-term learning necessary to foster engagement and potentially, action based on science (the dialogic model). Several CMS/IMAS projects have already begun to explore and evidence this approach – including Curious Climate Tasmania. This project will focus on science communication and engagement with people who typically do not engage with science. Specifically, it will assess how science partnerships with community engagement events (i.e. that are not usually or overtly associated with science) can potentially facilitate engagement with those who do not typically engage with science (or not). The target event is Squidfest – an art, science, and food festival. The survey data will be collected in December/January (prior to project commencing). The student will analyse the survey responses to address key project objectives and questions.

Skills students will develop during this research project:

  • Semi-quantitative survey design
  • Semi-quantitative survey analysis
  • Science communication
  • Scientific writing
  • Project management

Supervisory Team:

Dr Rachel Kelly: lead investigator, student supervisor

Prof Gretta Pecl: co-investigator, student supervisor

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