Thursday, 29 October 2020

Let’s start the day on a high note!

Our plan for the Cork School of Music was to start the day with an early morning singing and stretching sessions with practitioners from the Cork School of Music library. Even though we cannot enjoy the exceptional panoramic views of Cork city and the River Lee digitally, we will try to find a way to start our conference with a special interactive cultural experience! Be surpised!

9:30 – 10:00 Drop-in for a Virtual Welcome Coffee!

Enter the digital Conference Meeting-Space and start the EUSEA conference with a chat among colleagues and friends!

10:00 – 10:30 Conference Opening

Welcome and Introduction by EUSEA President Markus Weißkopf

Welcoming words by representatives from the Cork Institute of Technology

Musical Interventions

10:30 – 11:00 Keynote

Dissonance can be good: Why our new inability to disagree makes engagement so difficult

Prof. Dietram Scheufele, Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Dietram A. Scheufele is the Taylor-Bascom Chair in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the Morgridge Institute for Research. His research examines how we all make sense of increasingly complex scientific breakthroughs that we often know little about, and how corporations, universities, and non-profits better can work with citizens to ensure that we use science to society’s benefit. Scheufele is an elected member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Communication Association, and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. His consulting experience includes work for DeepMind, Porter Novelli, PBS, WHO, and the World Bank.

11:30 – 12:00 Keynote 

Why Expertise and Impact is Important for Science Communications – An SFI Perspective

Margie Mc Carthy, Head of Education and Engagement at Science Foundation Ireland

Margie McCarthy is responsible for the strategic development and management of SFI education and public engagement division, within the SFI Science for Society Directorate. This involves the design, delivery and review of core engagement programmes to support SFI’s goal for Ireland to have an engaged and scientifically informed public. The national SFI Discover funding programme is a key element in driving this objective. In her talk she will focus on why expertise and impact are important in Education and Public Engagement activity, particularly when publicly funded.

Margie is a strategic and creative thinker and leader with over 20 years’ experience across engineering, science, education, media, enterprise and academic sectors. She is a dynamic and passionate engagement expert and communicator.

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:30 Parallel Sessions I

Session 1.1:  Horizon Talks

Spectroscopy for all: Behind the scenes of using music to shake your bonds up

Music and Science are both universal languages. Music is also the perfect vehicle to deliver complex scientific concepts.

For example, Music allows us to construct easy to grasp allegories we could use to teach basic Physical Chemistry to non-specific audiences in a non-academic and interactive environment.

Here I present the project “Shake your bonds up”, a multi-activity science-fair stall funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The aim of this project is to engage young children and a broad audience with little knowledge of Chemistry with molecular structure, vibrational modes, and how scientists harness light-molecules interaction to do Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy, a technique that remains almost unknown to the public which has many applications in bioscience, industry and in everyday life. In this presentation, I will talk about our experience making the basics of IR Spectroscopy fascinating and fun for everyone using DIY costumes, music, a bit of acting and our audience’s best moves.

Shall we dance?

Maria Larriva Hormigos
Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, University of Oxford, UK

La Moulinette: a tool to remix your projects to get them even better!

Like cooking, communicating science is a subtle mixture of art, love and technique, of which it is necessary to know how to master all the components, to balance all the flavours to make it work. While public communication of science always stems from good intentions, it may sometimes, be it out of clumsiness or naivety, has the opposite effect and ends up widening the gap it claims to close between science and society.

To win the public’s trust, a good public communication of science therefore requires a reflective approach in order to challenge practices that sometimes stem too much from habit or spontaneity. The aim of this talk will be to present you this tool, from the history of its design to the principles that govern its functioning, and most of all to make you feel like using it !

Horace Perret
Réseau romand Science et Cité, Switzerland

Augmented Lectures: communicate science by triggering emotions

This talk will present Augmented Lectures, an innovative science communication format where a scientist and an artist co-create and co-produce a staged theatrescience lecture performance. Theatre, storytelling and other art forms are powerful tools to elicit emotional responses and provide a more empathetic and inspiring communication of science.

This format, developed by Jet Propulsion Theatre ( <> ), has had demonstrable results in audience engagement with scientists through cutting edge scientific concepts, connecting with unsuspecting audiences, dispelling stereotypes and misunderstandings, and inspiring young audiences to pursue a scientific career.

Augmented Lectures are at the heart of the Theatre of Wonder Festival ( and have received the CULTIVATING CURIOSITY Bronze Award at the 2016 Reimagine Education Conference organized by The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania and QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

Andrea Brunello, Arditodesio Theatre Company Jet propulsion Theatre, Italy

Educational Robotics in Ireland

Cork Institute of Technology are leading, through its Access Service, the VEX robotics programme in Ireland.

This programme was introduced in Cork in 2012 with 12 DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) post primary schools participating. This has now grown to over 350 primary and post primary schools nationally, with most counties having at least one team. The programme is heavily supported by both CIT and Dell in the cork region and by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under the Discovery funding call nationally.

Sharon Lawton
Cork Institute of Technology

Fine-tuning an intensive science communication course: a flipped classroom approach

It can be argued that if we want the voice of science to be heard, we’re going to need a bigger choir.

We need researchers and other STEAM professionals on board, communicating science with us. The problem is that professionals often have a lack of time for training. Intensive science communication or public engagement courses are one option but they have limitations. Namely, how can such a wealth of content be absorbed in a mere number of days?

STEAM summer school has trained more than 100 students in science communication through the arts over the past four years and has continually evaluated and updated its methods. In our most recent year, we tried a flipped classroom approach, allowing participants to learn some of our content prior to the school so that we could focus on practical application and skills development in session. In this talk we will discuss how this approach benefited our course in contrast to previous years and what this means for science communication trainers.

Amanda Mathieson
University of Malta


Mixing new sounds for diverse audience: robotic fabrication meets philosophy in the City Hall of Hannover

Robotic engineers meeting philosophers? ‘Nerds’ communicating with ‘dreamers’?

Yes, it is challenging to bring together different spheres of scientific cultures. We designed a two-days-event with workshops of programming robots, experiments around robotic fabrication and philosophical interventions including theatre about the interaction of humans and humanoids. We share our experience building new alliances and of how to overcome prejudice and to enjoy dissonances. Copying is absolutely appreciated.

Theda Minthe
Hannover Science Initiative / City of Hannover, Lord Mayor’s Office

SySTEM2020- Connecting Science Learning Outside The Classroom

SySTEM 2020 is Horizon2020 project where the number of transdisciplinary programmes will be evaluated to design the best principles for educators in this field.

Examining individual learning ecologies by piloting self-evaluation tools for learners is a novelty which will document science learning outside of the classroom. However, the key strength of the project is mapping the field across Europe.
The map is not necessarily presenting a geographical layout only, but also follows a thematic clustering (based on educational ambition or scientific field addressed), a journey focused visualisation (representing ecologies rather than geographies, similar to a metro map), or any other visually compelling narrative.
This unique opportunity to a significant dataset for research, as it is all open data, and a tool to find and connect with other STE(A)M initiatives across Europe is crucial in harmonising the STEM field.

Dr. Tanja Adnađević, Centre for the promotion of science, Serbia



Parallel Session 1.2: 90-Minute Workshop

Encouraging uptake in STEAM careers

Participation in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) fields can be increased through initiatives targeted towards different genders and interests; however, research shows that both sexes become disengaged from STEAM subjects at school.

This results in a lower likelihood for girls and boys to choose certain careers. Although dependent on culture and country, males tend to take technical careers while females are encouraged into care-based roles. The reasons for this are complex.
This includes a lack of knowledge about STEAM careers at schools, lack of female role models, unconscious bias and a tendency for males and females to be encouraged into stereotyped roles and careers. Key research findings and case studies will be used to encourage participants discuss major agendas in this fishbowl discussion. The discussion will be moderated by Danielle Martine Farrugia (Science Communicator & lecturer, Ph.D. student, University of Malta), together with Jon Rea (Engagement and Participation Lead Nottingham City Council) and Dr. Edward Duca (Science communication practitioner and lecturer), Simone Cutajar (Esplora Natura director, researcher) and will address SDG Goals 4 & 5 concerned with quality education and gender equality. The goal of this workshop will be to discuss the current models worldwide that are already in place and working to address skills gaps and encourage more STEAM careers.

Danielle Martine Farrugia, University of Malta, Department of Physics

Parallel Session 1.3: 2x 45-Minute Workshops

Maths in City: Public Engagement with STEM, in Public

Maths Week Ireland is an annual celebration of maths taking place in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and is the largest festival of its kind in the world.

It has achieved this through an innovative partnership model linking academia with education at all levels, government bodies, industry & business. It is successful in using traditional and electronic media to spread the positive message further. Linking maths to the rest of STEM, to other disciplines and to art is important.
This session describes innovative aspects in the organisation, development and delivery of the festival and focuses on one activity. Maths in the City in Belfast and Dublin engages the public, in public spaces. In the second part of this session participants will engage as the public do in these fun activities.
The model has been fully replicated in Maths Week Scotland (2017) and Maths Week England (2019) and Maths in the City has inspired Oxford Maths Festival and Mathematicas en la Calle, Madrid.

Sheila Donegan, Calmast STEM Engagement Centre, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland

Introducing Creativity into Chemistry

In TCD our PhD students complete a semi-structured programme with a number of flexible modules available to fit around their research.

The Outreach Module has formalised the education and public engagement training for our PhD students, with a summarised version of the module rolled out to other institutions as well. Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS) is an SFI funded hands-on activity delivered in schools by postrgad student ambassadors from 6 institutions. It has been running in Ireland for over 5 years, giving hundreds of chemistry students a unique opportunity to hone their communication skills.

SIAS forms a key part of the Postgrad Outreach module in TCD and UCD since it acts as the core “work experience” component alongside other opportunities. The module also includes formal workshops in Science Communication, Evidence based Science Education theories and Self-Reflection. Starting last year, part of the module assessment now requires students to work in pairs to create and test new outreach activities, presenting their ideas to the wider TCD Chemistry community for critical discussion. They are assessed on the originality and accessibility of their idea as well as their presentation skills and style of delivery

John O’Donoghue, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Parallel Session 1.4: 90-Minute Workshop

Broadcasting Science – The role of TV and theatre in science communication

While many argue that television audiences are dwindling, the EU Barometers paint a different picture.  Indicating that TV continues to capture large viewership in Europe, the barometer also indicates good levels of trust in this medium.   People from lower socio-economic communities are commonly found to identify least with science but the Wellcome Trust report ‘Experiments in Engagement’ found that television is the main source of in-home informal science experiences amongst young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Theatre presents another alternative for effective Science communication, with a captive audience interested in being transported through the dramatic experience.  The journey of a performance brings opportunities to kick off thought and debate on the impact of science to our lives, sparking an interest, a conversation and moving the audience to challenge perceptions and form independent opinions.

Science Foundation Ireland will be joined by RTÉ (the national TV broadcaster), a TV producer and a seasoned theatre performer/writer to have an interactive discussion with attendees on the challenges of using TV and theatre as a medium for Science Communications.  The workshop will challenge attendees to discuss the usefulness of these media and how to measure their value to building greater dialogue between science and society.

14:45 – 15:30 Parallel Sessions II

Parallel Session 2.1: Horizon Talks

Youth engagement in mental health research: does it have to be harmonious?

Involving young people in co-developing and conducting research is essential to ensure research output is relevant and responsive to their needs. The focus of this talk is an open innovation strategy of the D.O.T. research group for mental health of children and adolescents implemented as an extensive youth engagement process.

The talk offers insights into the engagement process itself, an overview of different forms of engagement (long- /short-term and group/individual) and a short summary of learned lessons. A special emphasis is placed on the involving experts by experience in research and the importance of transparency, value proposition and teamwork in this process.

The moments of harmony, moments of dissonance and the silence in between will be discussed as well as their value and necessity for a functional and meaningful youth engagement in mental health research.

Isabella Pollak, Ludwig Boltzmann Society, D.O.T. research group, Austria

Revealing dissonances with citizen science to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Citizen science, referring to the involvement of the public in academic research, can be a bottom-up approach for reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Researchers may benefit from volunteer engagement by having a solid research base or by changing the participants’ behaviour. Volunteers on the other hand may benefit by acquiring scientific literacy or in-depth knowledge of a discipline that may be the basis for informed decisions in their everyday lives.

When engaging with communities, not only dissonances between the SDGs but also societal dissonances can be revealed and addressed. Since citizen science also means a joint endeavour, local community engagement and local support, it plays a crucial role in attaining the SDGs. Since the identified challenges serve as a basis for discussion and help solve problems on a local level this bottom-up approach complements top-down approaches to achieve the SDGs.

Barbara Heinisch, University of Vienna

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