Plenária 1 | 12 de maio, às 10h00
“Rethinking science communication: towards a practice of openness and reflexivity in uncertain times”
Science communication is more important than ever, but also more challenging. There is an overwhelming mass of information, channels and formats around us. At the same time, our societies seem to become increasingly fragmented and polarized. In the context of controversial and uncertain issues such as climate change or the current pandemic, we encounter many publics that are skeptic towards science, which may be driven by their own legitimate experiences and interests, but is also intensified through populism and disinformation. Are science and public indeed more distanced and alienated than before? What does this entail for the roles of science communicators and journalists? How can we work towards a practice of science communication that is open to the situations and perspectives of an ever-increasing multiplicity of publics, reflexive of our own assumptions and values and ready to establish trustworthy conversations? In the past three years, the EU project RETHINK has engaged with the challenges of a newly emerging science communication landscape that is characterized by the blurring of boundaries between science and society and the digitalization of society. Across Europe, we have set up local communities of practice we called Rethinkerspaces to initiate a process of experimentation and learning about the questions above. We have investigated the different ways in which citizens in Europe make sense of controversial issues, and experimented with new roles and strategies that enable science communicators to open up to these sensemaking practices, make new connections and shape the conversations that are needed. This keynote will invite you to challenge your assumptions and reflect on (your) current practices of science communication. It will take you to re-imagine the future of science communication in uncertain times.
Frank Kupper is associate professor in science communication and public engagement at VU Amsterdam. Trained as a biologist, philosopher and theatre practitioner, he received a PhD in Science & Technology Studies at VU Amsterdam. In his current work, he integrates these disciplines to shape meaningful conversations about science in society. Specifically he focuses on a better understanding of interaction and communication processes, methodological innovation for dialogue and creative democracy and the development of a reflective practice for all actors in science communication and public engagement. He has contributed to various national and international projects, such as VOICES, RRI TOOLS and CATALYST. He is the architect and coordinator of the EU project RETHINK, aimed at developing new ways to communicate about science to make public conversations about science more inclusive, reflective and adaptive. Across Europe, the RETHINK project set up local communities of practice called Rethinkerspaces to initiated experimentation and learning across boundaries.
Plenária 2 | 13 de maio, às 09h00
“Science Communication in Lusophone Contexts: Transformational Perspectives on Internationalisation, Decolonisation and Partnerships”
The growing international clamour for increased language plurality and diversity in science communication practices and narratives is contextualised on the premise of addressing the overarching hegemony of the English language and its skewed ‘globalised’ world views. However, it could also be asked, does the Portuguese-speaking (Lusophone) realm have its own inherently skewed ‘globalised’ world views? While much of the Lusophone terrain is located in countries in the Global South regions, yet, the diverse perspectives, socio-cultural insights and lived experiences (past and present) of these regions do not seem to infuse the nature of science communication practices and its professional cadre in the Lusophone scenarios. Does science communication in the Lusophone arena have a unique culture and foot-print that makes it distinct from that in other major language realms? And what parameters should inform, drive, up-scale and sustain any unique features? This keynote presentation will seek to elaborate these critical questions of the past and the present and then suggest solutions for the future in the building of transformative pathways and strategies that inculcate: Equitable and collaborative partnerships between practitioners in the Global North and South; Decolonisation of science communication narratives, practices and agendas; and realigned internationalisation frameworks that overcome ‘globalisation’ and its skewed world views.
Elizabeth Rasekoala is the President of African Gong: The Pan-African Network for the Popularization of Science & Technology and Science Communication which aims to advance the Public Learning and Understanding of Science (PLUS), scientific outreach, public engagement and scientific literacy on the African continent (www.africangong.org). African Gong is committed to working towards the advancement of language diversity and inclusion in science communication across the African continent, in the four main continental ‘working’ languages of English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic, and in Indigenous and local African languages and dialects. Dr. Rasekoala has advocated, researched, presented and written widely on public innovation and transformative development through advancing diversity, sociocultural inclusion, race and gender equality issues in science communication and STEM education, globally. She is the first African female scientist to receive an International Award for Science Communication, having been honoured as the 2019 Recipient of the International NAT AWARD for Science Communication, conferred by the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona. Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/gongafric
Mesa redonda | 13 de maio, às 14h30
“É possível comunicar ciência em qualquer região?
A comunicação de ciência abre as portas das instituições científicas e leva a ciência aos cidadãos, dentro e fora das localidades onde é produzido o conhecimento – por vezes, a muitos quilómetros de distância. Alguns territórios têm uma oferta mais diversificada, outras regiões contam com menos agentes de comunicação de ciência, mas ainda assim é possível promover atividades além das fronteiras das grandes áreas metropolitanas e demonstrar o papel da ciência como motor de desenvolvimento e inovação na região. Nesta mesa redonda, queremos abordar a descentralização da Comunicação de Ciência, os desafios e soluções de quem trabalha em regiões periféricas e trazer uma perspectiva do que se passa na Europa. Nesta sessão também não queremos perder de vista temas como público-alvo e financiamento.