Session 4C - Policy and practice 3: strategies and approaches

Room 3.23


Talking GMOs across global and local regulations

Samantha Katherine Clarke (University of Otago, New Zealand)

My study investigates how communication sources in India, New Zealand and Canada have adopted various strategies on communicating GMOs and assesses the challenges these strategies face in engaging the public across cultures. The analysis of print media is carried out using Leximancer, an automated content analysis software in order to identify the source and format of information in each country. Concept maps generated by Leximancer show the main players engaged in communication of GMOs. The general tone of the articles across the three countries and across actors will also be compared and discussed.


Stories from the "open science revolution": how scientists talk about openness

Rosalind Attenborough (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Movements advocating “open” science have been gaining momentum since the turn of the twenty-first century. From open access publishing and open data archiving, to open peer review and citizen science, practices under the “open” umbrella carry hopes of revolutionising science communication, and science itself. Some scientists have led movements towards openness, but others seem ambivalent. Now that funders and universities increasingly require open practices, questions arise about “cultural” resistance to openness amongst scientists. Ros aims to step into this cultural sphere and listen to the meanings of openness that scientists construct – within and around the current open science agenda.


Making the impossible possible through objective-driven, long-term initiatives

Andreas Prokop (The University of Manchester, UK)

Fundamental science is of enormous societal importance, but difficult to communicate to non-specialist audiences. Much can be achieved with objective-driven, long-term science communication initiatives that share resources and collaborate across disciplines and organisations.  Here I explain our Manchester Fly Facility initiative: we communicate the importance of fruit fly research for discovery processes in the biomedical sciences. We use multi-pronged strategies targeting the public, fellow scientists, clinicians and politicians, and collaborate with teachers and examiners to introduce flies as curriculum-relevant teaching tools in biology school lessons. Our openly shared strategies and resources are now used in 20 nations on 6 continents!  


Understanding Health Research: the past, present and future of an online tool to help the public engage with health research

Chris Patterson (University of Glasgow, UK)

Understanding Health Research (UHR) is an interactive online tool to help people understand and evaluate health science without scientific training or experience. Going forward, the project team aim to expand upon UHR with co-branded resources: one for secondary school students learning about critical appraisal for the first time, and another aimed at empowering the general public to be critical of health research claims in the media. Chris will reflect on experiences of developing and running UHR, and discuss plans for the future, considering lessons learned about target audiences, and how the team can learn from those lessons in future developments.