2 thoughts on “Public engagement with science: why bother?”

  1. You’re not wrong about the benefits to researchers personally. There’s nothing like having to explain my work to a room of bored-looking teenagers to force me to clarify my thoughts. I found this paper very helpful when preparing my approach: “Science Educational Outreach Programs That Benefit Students and Scientists” by Clark et al. https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002368#sec004 . Would be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

    1. Hi James! Thanks for commenting and for sharing that paper. Teenagers can be a tough audience! But also great to work with. It’s interesting that Clark et al mention integrating scientists into school science education. It reminds me of the droso4schools project, which promotes long-term scientist-teacher collaborations in schools. The scientists involved published this paper about it in 2017.

      I agree that sustained relationship-building between schools and scientists is a good idea. But given the multiple pressures facing so many academics (and the tendency of some research institutions to under-value outreach work) I wonder how sustainable this would be on a large scale.

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