Show and Tell- Science Communication and Public Engagement Training

Over the past year and a half, as we have all been trying to adapt to the “new normal”, we all have had to come up with new methods of conducting public out-reach and realising their are gaps in our skill sets that need to be filled. The issue is there are many forms of science communication and PE, each requiring a distinctive set of skills within a wide spectrum of often overlapping activities. That is the gift and the curse of this vocation, there are so many different ways to communicate with people, but it is impossible for any one of us to be an expert in all these fields. That is why effective training is so important, for even the most seasoned communicators. For this reason, we are planning to add a training section to the EUSEA science engagement platform, a list of organisations that provide training in particular areas of science communication and public engagement.

However, how can we ensure that the training we recommend, is of the same high standard that we would expect from those within the EUSEA network? What should a good training session offer? It is hard to know. So in July, we extended an invitation out to you all to join us for a special EUSEA hotpot, to help us figure out what criteria we need to look for in a science engagement and communication training before we recommend it to you! And you did not disappoint!

After listening to contributions from; Annette Klinkert (CEO of city2science), Edward Duca- (STEAM summer school and SciCulture), and Mhairi Stewart (Head of Public Engagement, University of St Andrews), we open the floor to you to help us answer three questions:

What is the purpose of training?

What should training include?

What should be the outcomes of a training session?

You can see all the comments from this co-creation session here, and from this discussion, we have been able to write up a list of criteria, which will help us decided if a training event is of a high enough standard before we even consider recommending there services on the EUSEA Science Engagment Platform. In addition to this, we have put together a dedicated working party, who will assist us in reviewing submitted training courses, help us maintain these propsed high standards, and ensure a level of impartiality and to help resolve any conflicts of interst that may arise.

If you would like to learn more about the EUSEA Science Engagement Platform or discuss the inclusision of an activity or training event, please contact Chris Styles- chris.styles@eusea.info