Session 5C - Communicating research on science and religion in society across different media

Room 3.23

Panel Discussion

Alexander Hall (University of Birmingham, UK); Peter Barker (Orinoco Communications, UK); Jordan Collver (Freelance Illustrator & Science Communicator, UK); Fern Elsdon-Baker (University of Birmingham, UK)

This panel will introduce and discuss a suite of public engagement activities designed and disseminated as part of major multidisciplinary research into public perceptions of evolution, personal belief and religion. As part of phase one of the Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum project a media fellows scheme led to the creation of a comic and a video (password: scirel) based upon the research undertaken, and a partnership with the British Science Association resulted in a series of panel debates across the UK.

First, Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker the Principal Investigator of the research project, will provide context, introducing the main research findings and reflecting on the impetus for curating the various engagement activities undertaken. Then the lead creative producer on each science communication activity will in turn introduce their work, and discuss the various challenges of representing, translating and communicating research to diverse audiences on the subject of science and religion.

Finally, the panellists will lead an audience discussion on the issues raised by the engagement work undertaken as part of the research project. The panel, and the engagement activities it will focus on, encourage both practitioners and researchers working in science communication to reflect on the processes of co-producing materials, the diversity of the audiences they target, and the mediums they use to communicate their research.