Scientists shared innovative approaches to engaging the public on complex scientific issues at the National Academy of Sciences’ Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication III on November 16-17 in Washington, D.C.
The theme, “Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity,” focused on the NAS study Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda to advance both research and practice in science communication. The report offers a research agenda for science communicators and researchers seeking to apply this research and fill gaps in knowledge about how to communicate effectively about science, focusing on issues that are contentious in the public sphere. To inform this research agenda, the report identifies important influences – psychological, economic, political, social, cultural and media-related – on how science related to such issues is understood, perceived and used.
The study’s committee chair Alan Leshner, Ph.D., CEO Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science and Research!America board member, told attendees that scientists need to “move from a monologue to a dialogue” with the public.
Researchers from Dartmouth College and practitioners from the Vermont Department of Health, award recipients, described their study focused on communicating the benefits of vaccines to hesitant parents.
Suzanne Ffolkes, vice president of communications, Research!America, joined other panelists to discuss ways to strengthen the project, such as engaging different segments of the population and influencers in local communities.
For more information on the NAS Sackler Colloquia, visit http://bit.ly/2An6HHi.