The Surrounded by Science Project Featured at SciCom PT 2024

The picturesque city of Braga, Portugal, played host to SciCom PT 2024, a conference dedicated to the art and science of science communication. One of the standout events of the conference was a training workshop titled “Methodologies and Instruments for Evaluating the Impact of SciCom Activities,” which highlighted the Surrounded by Science Project. This session, championed by NUCLIO, brought together science communicators and enthusiasts to delve into the latest trends, methodologies, and challenges within the field of science communication.

The workshop’s primary objective was to equip participants with the skills necessary for effectively evaluating science communication activities. Emphasis was placed on the use of innovative instruments and methodologies, particularly the application Science Chaser. This goal not only enhances the individual abilities of science communicators but also promotes a more effective and innovative environment in the field, benefiting the community as a whole.

The Challenge of Impact Evaluation

Evaluating the impact of science communication activities remains a significant challenge. Within the framework of the Surrounded by Science Project, understanding and improving this evaluation is critical. Effective assessment helps in refining strategies, securing funding, and ultimately, enhancing public engagement with science. The importance of robust evaluation methods was a central theme throughout the workshop.

Overview of Science Chaser

Science Chaser, a cutting-edge application designed to evaluate the impact of science communication activities, was highlighted in the workshop. The app facilitates the assessment process through user-friendly features and comprehensive analytics, making it an invaluable tool for communicators.

A portion of the workshop was dedicated to a practical demonstration of Science Chaser:

  • Hands-On Demonstration: A step-by-step guide on how to use Science Chaser for evaluation purposes.
  • Case Studies: Discussion of case studies where Science Chaser has been effectively utilized, providing context and practical insights for participants.

Trends, Innovations, and Challenges

The workshop covered a wide range of topics, reflecting the evolving nature of science communication. Key trends included the increasing use of digital platforms to reach broader audiences, the integration of interactive elements such as virtual reality and augmented reality in presentations, and the growing importance of inclusivity in science communication efforts. Participants explored tools and techniques for assessing the impact of their activities, such as different types of surveys and focal groups. The use of data analytics to measure engagement and feedback in real-time was another theme discussed during the workshop.

Despite these valuable tools, several challenges were acknowledged. One of the primary concerns is the lack of time and resources many professionals face when planning the assessment of these activities, as well as the difficulty of evaluating long-term effects. Additionally, the need for continuous professional development and training to keep pace with technological advancements and audience expectations was also discussed.

For those interested in exploring more about the Surrounded by Science Project and other sessions from the conference, further information can be found (in Portuguese) on the official SciCom PT 2024 website here.