High-level researchers are occasionally called away from their labs and scientific publishing to talk to the general public about their work. But how can these events be organised so that everyone involved feels the benefits? One way to smooth this path is to work with science museums and other science engagement venues such as those that belong to the European network of science centres and museums (Ecsite).
By definition, frontier research takes place at the very edges of human knowledge, and its intrinsically risky, avant-garde nature may ward off the uninitiated. Yet, passageways into the lands of cutting-edge science can be found in much less intimidating places than labs or research centres: museums.
Science often feels inaccessible to the general public; like an exclusive club to which only researchers or scientific experts have access. The annual worldwide Pint of Science festival attempts to break this perceived wall between science and society. It holds engaging science talks in informal settings – such as bars or pubs - and involves attendees in science-themed games, quizzes and activities. From 20 to 22 May, 14 researchers funded by the ERC took part in this year’s Belgian edition of the Pint of Science festival.
In a post-truth, expert-dismissing era, how can we ensure government policies are derived from evidence based information? The European Science-Media Hub was set up by the European Parliament for this very reason, to help with science communication and bridge the knowledge gap between science policy makers, researchers, and journalists.
In some western countries, graphic storytelling was in the past delegated to the comic strips covering overlooked back pages of the newspaper. In recent years it has become increasingly recognised as an important visual art form with the ability to communicate complex ideas. Comics engage not only children but also the curious and young at heart, whatever age they may be.
Meet fifteen women. Fifteen ERC grantees ready to tell their story in simple words. Based in Spain, they all share a passion for science and one common challenge: taking basic science out of the lab and bringing it closer to citizens, via schools, libraries, museums, and prisons.