Session 3C - Policy and practice 2: case studies

Room 3.23

Communicating Science for Policy – Practice-led Education  

Carla-Leanne Washbourne (University College London, UK)

Science communication is a key element in the formal and informal advisory systems that can inform successful decision-making. Effective science communication in policy settings requires the development of a range of specific competencies and skills and a capability for reflective practice.

This talk reflects on the challenges and insights encountered in developing a practice-led masters-level module to equip those working in this space: ‘Communicating Science for Policy’. The experience provided a useful lens through which to survey the personal and professional knowledge and skills required for successful engagement in policy-making settings and consider possible futures for education in this area.

Engaging the publics about forensic DNA phenotyping: a case-study from the field

Gabrielle Samuel (King’s College London, UK)

Forensic DNA phenotyping (FDP) seeks to make probabilistic inferences regarding an individual’s phenotype based on analysis of unknown origin crime scene DNA. FDP’s intended use is to act as an investigative tool to help criminal investigators find an unknown suspected perpetrator. Whilst many purport the usefulness of FDP, it raises a range of ethical/social concerns. We conducted civil society stakeholder interviews across nine EU countries to provide empirical insight into this. We discuss difficulties faced when trying to engage with these publics, framed around who, when and how to best engage, notions of value, and implications of findings.

Science Communication, affinities and discordance among the local and the global

Rosalba Namihira Guerrero (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico)

The General Office of Science Communication of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), launched three surveys in the last years to know about the practices, attitudes and perceptions in the field of PCS. The first questionnaire was for the members of the National System of Researchers, the second for the general population, and the last one for the communication offices at UNAM's research centres. These three actors differ from each other and the communication practices carried out so far both, by researchers and the scientific institutions, are different from those expected by the public in terms of their local needs.