[ASC-list] evaluations of science communication

Cobi Smith cobi.smith at anu.edu.au
Tue Jun 15 20:59:55 UTC 2010

Hi ASCers, particularly those involved in the recent discussion about  the evaluation of science communication...  
 I'm in the process of finishing my thesis, which includes a chapter on  evaluating science communication events and programs. I'd like to use a  couple of quotes from this recent discussion in that chapter. I know  that this email list is public domain given it's available on the ASC  website (http://www.asc.asn.au/section/list/). 
 However given that I'd be referencing specific people's emails, I wanted  to check whether anyone *doesn't* want me to use their contribution to  the discussion as a reference. If you'd prefer not to be cited, just let  me know.   
 Also, I think it's great to see this being discussed on the ASC list  after the topic gained some momentum at the national conference in  January. We talked about it in the session I presented at, which Kristin  Alford blogged about here:  http://bridge8.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/tools-for-democracy-and-dialogue-in-science/  
 I think her dot-point summary from that includes some useful questions  for evaluations:  
 "So what have we learnt about engaging everyone?  
 First we need to do something! More events! No!   
 The first thing is to think more strategically about the following   questions: 
   - What is our objective we expect to fulfill through this activity? 
  - Who’s your target audience? 
  - What do they need in terms of information and understanding of the   science?  
 - What do they want by joining in? (And this can be quite different   from what we think they need.)  
 - How can our audience inform us? What do we want to know from them? 
 And then we can suitably alter the approach and the framing of the   activity to ensure that we are able to engage with a broader   cross-section of the population on their terms."  
 Also, I wouldn't mind enhancing another of my chapters on *who*  participates in science communication with some quotes from other  professional science communicators, so if you'd like to respond on this  list with some thoughts on that I might cite you as well. I'm most  interested in how participants for science engagement events are  attracted/recruited, and how much thought is given to catering events to  different types of people. 
 While I'm at it, if you'd like to share any references to evaluations of  Australian science communication events and programs I'd appreciate it, in case I  haven't come across them yet. You can browse my existing references here  if you like (but by all means just suggest a link without checking, as  I'd rather have someone suggest something I've already included than not  at all, and searching the collection can be unfruitful):  http://www.citeulike.org/user/cobi 
 Cobi Smith  
 Centre for the Public Awareness of Science  
 Australian National University 
 email: cobi.smith at anu.edu.au  
 web: http://cpas.anu.edu.au/people/cobi_smith/  
 Note: I'm in South America now, so if you'd like to contact me please  stick to email.  
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