Science and Society, 20 years on: legacy and lessons for a post-Covid world - Shared screen with speaker view
I can see you.
Good morning everyone!
Good morning all
Good morning... looking forward to this
Good morning. This should be interesting. Only an hour ago I was listening on R5 to two scientists with opposing views on Covid restrictions wondering about the importance of coherent public health messaging.
David Chapman - UKRI
The hashtag is #SciSociety20
Morning everyone. Definitely Shane!
Morning everyone. Intrigued to know whether people think, re covid, that trust in politicians might be more important than trust in scientists.
... as evidenced by yesterday's briefing by the CSA and CMO, but no politicians...
Does it matter Roland? Should we instead focus on the bigger picture of trust in the whole process?
Yes. I don't think we can just separate trust in one category of people.
Doesn’t really need saying, but trust has to be earned: people and systems need to be trustworthy.
Hello Diane. Yes I think that was my point.
Morning all. Will have to duck on from 10-11. If people could keep their most insightful comments till after 11, I’d be much obliged.
I think that the different context across the UK nations needs to be addresses as well - there isn't just one government....
Indeed. An untrustworthy person can be trusted.
GM crops was a good example of the differences across the devolved nations
The ‘issue’ of trust needs to be addressed as a whole system/ladder. Lack of trust at any stage can cause issues, science and policy coexist but have two different roles. The first informs, the second acts.
Good combative start from Lord Winston here!
Trust in whole system - yes, but scientists can only affect the bits they can affect. We can change our behaviour. We can't change the politicians' behaviour.
Morning all, I'm interested in opinions on how state funding of science, and transfers of some PSREs into the private sector, has affected the relationship between scientific advisers and government
Please direct any questions you have for the panellists using the Q&A facility
this really nicely illustrates issues of reach when we think about on lien engagement! ( I come form rural Scotland)
At least we've got several Scots on the chat!
Illustrates the problem of video engagement, not necessarily online engagement...
Join the chat Brian...
I used to live 10 miles from Aberdeen city centre and the BB speed in our village averaged 512kB :-/
a lot of the communities I work with in Manchester also don't have internet access or knowhow
Zoom's phone option for audio is also often forgotten in these situs
Somerset calling too!!
Can I claim Farthest South from Jersey?
If some scientists are 'good' and 'top quality' (and thus good to put in front of the media), this raises huge issues about how we identify such people (and how we're labelling the others...). Makes me a bit uncomfortable...
unless we have highland islanders I may be from furthest north at nr John o groats
@Aileen - agree with this point - the discrepancy between the minister’s messaging about gender and the all-male COP26 team was stark: presumably “good” and “top quality” climate scientists are all male?
… and perhaps from certain institutions, in certain geographic locations?
And perhaps a tendency to only choose those from the Russell Group?
Brian spot on of course. His argument could apply to some extent to the research councils...e.g. is the UKRI Board broad enough?
A question in the Q&A asks if the research community is wasting the current opportunity to work with the public and the media. No – they are trying to keep their research, teaching and home commitments afloat and as such do not have the time to be proactive. The real questions should be how can funders and policymakers give them the space to be proactive and engaging? For example by employing initiatives and individuals that allow platforms to be accessible for researchers to engage with.
quote from Patrick Jenkin interview with History of Parliament "I did no science at school at all, I was a classicist, and that’s what one was pushed into in the 1930s … I always have to tell people that I may be the President of the Foundation for Science and Technology or the President of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, in fact I never did any science at school at all. "
@Mhairi I agree. I frequently experience this.
@Jill, thanks. It isn’t just about making funding available, It’s about making time available.
Do we mean 'public understanding of science', or 'public understanding of the scientific process' - they're different
@Mhairi the "barriers to engagement" research suggested that the main barriers to researchers engaging with the public sit at the PI level: does that still resonate? If so it's them who need to make the prioritisation
@Ken I think both are valid purposes for engagement. That purpose needs to defined from the start of course.
@Ken absolutely: and public understanding of scientific institutions too (as Brian said)
@dom and @mhairie AS a PI , I can tell you that I think there are huge issues about our time as well as nervousness about what they can/should do
@Dom, yes, but less so these days. Less PIs are negative, and where they are they cite the time it takes to do PE as a reason to stop themselves and others doing PE - In my experience, of course…
@Mhairi @Ken, but what’s the real problem here? Is it that people don’t “understand” concepts or the process? What are WE not clear about?
@Sheena - my experience form other PIs too.
Different communities are disengaged with science and scientists for different reasons. There's a history of how scientists used and abused ethnic minorties and disabled people for "the pursuit of science" and yet the science community has made little effort to try and earn back the trust of these groups. It's easy to mock people who don't "believe" science but very little time is taken to understand where this distrust comes from.
Because concepts can be explained at any point and no one ‘needs to know’ anything. Otherwise we end up starting a witch-hunt for those that don’t and, ultimately, single them out (which could cause negative feelings = bad for all of us).
@mhairie which is why I raise the reward issue- allowing time as a properly recognised part of your job is critical and not done yet
Utterly agree with Robert W re the importance of primary schooling - but we're asking a lot of primary teachers if we want them to start foreign languages early AND do science AND do literacy and numeracy AND... AND...
Interesting discussion about scientists, but I would like to hear some discussion about scientists understanding the public, and especially their acknowledgement of underrepresented groups. See this for example: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02495-y
Yes! Primary science needs investment. Over 10 years in one school I saw a complete change in culture amongst teachers and pupils. Having the support of a trained scientist gave them confidence to engage and question.
@Paolo - I don’t think it’s that clear cut and it’s an issue with the way we view the ’spectrum’ of PE from dissemination to dialogue. We often need good quality dissemination to undertake really good quality dialogue. We need to be open to mixing it up a bit!
And I think we need to frame "science literacy" more widely so it's not just "science facts"
Balance between engagement and comms is really important. Often has different agendas but is easily confused by researchers.
@paolo agree. also in my experience people gain confidence and become more ambitious to do deeper engagement activities as they go on
“Invite them to participate, and really mean it, and they will find the motivation to become as scientifically literate as you, or rather they, please.”Jon Turney
@Mhairi & @Dom I think the key is researchers (incl. PIs) learning to engage with engagement / communication teams from the beginning. Even if it's those who help with funding applications having a closer relationship with comms officers, etc. Almost like a handover so that comms teams can support the narrative of projects from the very beginning. Plus comms teams need to establish clear differences between comms and engagement (and learn that engagement should ideally be two-way)
@sophia I would add in some cases provide them training to participate more fully whether its accessing language or acquiring research sklills
So would I @Gail. So much of this discussion is about education and sci literacy and trust. Me want to know about how research/researchers is/are going to change. Not only understanding public(s)/ communities - engaging peeps across the whole research process.
Annette Bramley (You) 10:47 AMHaven't heard much about co-production so far (although I did have to pop out for a meeting)- coproduction goes beyond engagement and enables real buy-in
I agree with Brian
Thanks to Fiona Fox for emphasising the importance of engaging with media. It is important to place effective communication and engagement will all sectors of our research institutions and universities. Perhaps some of those have de-prioritised media engagement... that would be a great pity. Media engagement is a business critical actitvity and a societal need.
Also lifelong learning and people's changing interests need to be though about- neuroplasticity is a real enabler for engagement across all age ranges (although I agree with RW about importance of early years)
@Jill, thanks for differentiating between comms and engagement there. And yes researchers need to engage, BUT this is a process of mutual benefit and therefore the advantages to researchers of engagement from the start is something that needs to be highlighted so the rewards are understood.
@Sheena, making it available, certainly. But I feel like a lot of this conversation is drifting far more towards 'doing to'. If researchers collaborate with publics, with humility, as was mentioned from the HoL report, then those publics develop more understanding, without being lectured at.
@sofia,agreed listening is key you cant engage effectively unless you listen
Completely agree. We often do science *to* the public rather than *with* the public
A very interesting piece on “public values science” here: https://issues.org/public-value-science-innovation-equity-bozeman/
If you want scientists to be able to talk and engage with public properly then they have to be given the freedom to admit that they don't know, rather than being expected to have all the answers. In the same way that scientists need to be able to communicate their work to the public, the public need to understand that a lack of a solid answer is part of the process rather than a failing of science
@Mhairi agreed :) hopefully this would come from comms teams working closely with researchers from the beginning and can demonstrate examples of successes (for all parties)
@Sophia - I agree, the conversation has had a one dimensional aspect. Not deliberately of course, but we need to be aware of that.
Thanks to the panellists for that first session.
@Claire - agreed. When I was running I'm a Scientist I specifically wrote that in the briefing notes for scientists. "It's OK to say you don't know. It gives kids a far more realistic view of science and scientists"
@Claire, I thin what you said is REALLY important. We (royal we as society) have created this idea that experts know everything. That having Dr, Prof or other academic titles makes you the ‘go-to’ about all knowledge. Experts are seen as untouchable beings that make no mistakes, which others do because … well, they’re not experts. We have created the picture of an ‘expert’ that is impossible not to feel negative feelings toward.
@Claire @Sophia - worth reflecting on how the expectation that scientists should/will have clear answers to everything becomes so widely institutionalised and what the role of the scientific community and science education (as well as the media, politics etc) is in this process of institutionalisation…
@Claire, who’s ever reacted extremely positively and at all defensive when told ‘you’re wrong and you know nothing’?
@Sophia indeed - intrigued at the difference between the Chat discussion between the delegates & the panellists discussion...
@Keiron, yes, I agree. It's as if to some people scientists are black boxes you get answers out of (a bit like the Guinness Book of Records or something), and not, you know, people.
Morning all :)
@Lesley, well this one is two-way engagement, isn't it?:-)
I've just been reflecting on the one-way-ness of that panel: I think that because it was looking at govt policy with Fiona (SMC), and Robert (who's done a lot on telly) then it did veer in that direction a bit.
Hopefully this next session will correct that
still don't think we have addressed the core of Lesley's question - success in engagement means transfer of power and living with the consequences.
@Ben Yes, exactly. And that is one of the barriers. Because people with power don't like to give it up.
@Ben - totally agree. We need to move away from the idea of ‘monopoly of knowledge and power’. We are staying behind when the world moves forward.
@Sophia, and I think that’s ‘power’ in all its forms - money, knowledge, influence .. the whole package.
And "science" is very firmly part of the power structure in UK society
@Dom how much of that is due to access to education?
On a very quick first think not that much I think. It's more historical embedded stuff rather than access to education Right Now
I'll think about that more though
Maybe... differential access to education is a result of the power structure than a cause of it.
If you are less educated is it more about faith than trust- because you have less ability to figure out if someone is telling the truth?
Specifically in relation to complicated science
I don't think so, how much do you really know about say immunology if you have a 30 year old history degree?
@Annette TBH, I don't really have the ability to figure out if a nuclear engineer, or even an epidemiologist is telling me the truth. But, partly I trust that they are telling me the truth because they are people like me.I don't think it's about knowledge or cognitive skills, but about trust.
This is a great presentation by the way - Is there going to be a recording publicly available?
@Sophia, I wonder if it’s not because they are people like you … but because you know HOW they came up with explanations/responses?
David Chapman - UKRI
Yes, there will be a recording available and circulated afterwards.
@Paolo, all - agree that the trust we put in the expertise of those expert in other fields is based on a trust in the institutionalised practices and norms that we assume their field operates with/under
I agree with Imran, there's too many "discussions" and "reflections" on what the science community do but very little actions especially as scientists from marginalised communities have been recommending and advising changes for a very long time. Some are refusing to attend these "dialogues" because they are burnt out and feeling tokenised.
@Paolo, I guess that is part of it. But, for example, I home educate my son, so I'm in lots of home ed groups. Some parents in those groups are highly suspicious and confrontational with the school system, social work and all the safeguarding systems.I know very little about child safeguarding and monitoring. But, I do have friends who are social workers and teachers. Again, they are people like me. So I assume they are mostly going to be nice to me.
In other words ‘knowing how the sausage is made’ in one field (or knowing how it is made through having studied the sociology or history of science) gives us an insight into both the strengths and limitations of expertise
Yes- there are different types of knowledge- academic knowledge is just one form!
EVERYTHING ERINMA SAYS!
‘How do we share power’ is a key question for the academy.
Thanks Erinma - absolutely
Great to hear from Erinma.
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Thanks Nuzhat, Lorna, Rokia, Jenny, Kat, Roland.
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Its not that we haven’t tried though @jackstilgoe
Fair point warren - it’s not just safety. But for avoidance of doubt I was also implying that if you set a goal (e.g. people feeling safe) then you need to explore all the routes to get there, including genuinely seeking to understand why they might not feel safe, and what are the various routes to get to a place where we do
This is a great panel
Warren, we didn't have ethnicity as a variable on the tracker, but this from Kantar's Public Attitudes to Science 2019:Those from a BAME background were more likely to think that scientists should be rewarded for communicating their research to the public (67% vs 51% of white people).People from a BAME background were less likely to think the government is making not very much/no effort at all to consult the public on science (51% vs 66% of white people).People from BAME backgrounds were more likely than those from a white background to have concerns about some technologies, being more likely to say that risks outweigh benefits for GM crops (40% BAME vs 31% White) and genome editing (42% BAME vs 22% White).Minority and more disadvantaged groups were most likely to consider that scientific research benefits the rich more than the poor: people with no qualifications (42%), from BAME backgrounds (41%), and from less affluent DE backgrounds (38%) were more likely than average (30%) to agree with this.
Also picking up on thread about trust - agree with lots of comments. e.g. I don’t ‘believe’ in climate change because I’ve measured atmospheric c02, done the models, or personally experienced the change in temp over time. I believe in it because I trust the people & systems that created the knowledge and argue for change
Jack’s point about uneven economic progress and socio-economic disenfranchisement was one of the most obvious fault lines revealed by the EU referendum,. But what has science/academia done in the past 4 years to address this problem? How has it changed our approach to public engagement?
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Great points from @hamied
Obviously lots of reasons why I might trust those people & systems and others might not. I know those people personally, feel like they’re ‘like me’, and have made my living in those systems for most of my career
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Here’s that position paper: https://nadsn-uk.org/2020/05/21/covid-post-lockdown-perspectives-implications-and-strategies-for-disabled-staff-nadsns-position-paper/
I wonder if the opaqueness, as well as the financial inaccessibility, of scientific journals also undermines trust in science.
@stephen I guess the UKRI PE strategy and place based research initiatives are steps to shift research into diverse communities, more of this needed though
I think one way to include the public, especially more diverse communities, is to do really deep citizen science - that is, not just the scientist asking the public to do data collection (for free labour and public engagement), but also inviting people to ask their own questions. For example, HS2 campaigners who ask how they can measure air quality around the HS2 building works.
This is a great discussion. Also, Imran, your point about not needing to do the measurements yourself reminds me of the film Behind the Curve about flat earthers.
We did some work on this at Wellcome as well - BAME people in the UK more likely to worry about covid, less likely to trust the science, and found it harder to follow the restrictions: https://wellcome.org/press-release/bame-peoples-experience-british-lockdown-significantly-worse-wellcome-survey-finds
@Hamied thank you for that! Really important
Onora ONeill worth reading on idea of trustworthiness - gain trust by demonstrating trustworthy behaviour. Can’t just create trust.
Imran spt on - no sensible evaluation without clear and transparent ambitions
Hello Scott - I agree. There’s also a difference between trust in expertise and trusting someone is acting in your best interests
If you build trust 'while the sun is shining', then the trust is there in a crisis, when we all need to wear masks or whatever.
It's a good point about outcomes, but why does UKRI, or why do scientists, have a monopoly on them? What if the public are asked what their wish about outcomes are?
Does the tracker also look at national/ regional variations in attitude? Could be interesting in terms of BEIS place strategy and the levelling up agenda
Civic university commission had something to say about engagement....
Agree with Jack - my view’s not as extreme as I might be making it sound. The emphasis on dialogue has had tons of benefits too
Dialogue is often designed in order to input into policy, specifically regulatory frameworks - so they may have a role, in that publics often don't know what levers can be pulled to affect the outcomes that we want to address - or even what types of outcome are possible. Which is why I'd argue for participatory futures as a creative way to engage people...
@Alice -agree, outcomes need to be set by all stakeholders. We did that for Cell Block Science, and (I’ll be honest) while it felt a little like compromise for all of us at the start, it resulted in far better outcomes than we could have ever envisioned.
The PC&E part of the KEF is 'forcing' universities to think more about engagement with their communities
@Mhairi that's fantastic, I'd love to read about that!
Yes, to @Jack: universities are probably not the best agents for leveraging culture change among individual academics: disciplines/fields/societies/associations are much more likely drivers.
Agree with Erinma. Representation is so important
@Aileen - funders also have a potentially powerful role here to adjust incentives.
Really important point from Erinma about "languages": we need to talk the language that our communities talk
(verbal and non-verbal)
@Alice - if you get in touch- @scienceartreach on twitter- I’d be happy to chat further.
Agree 100% Erinma - it’s about understanding the context and realise we are part of that, either positively or negatively.
@Stephen: in certain disciplines, not all (unless UKRI does something really interesting!) Consider @Jack's point about how bio-med sciences have got really into public engagement over last 20 yrs, but computer/data sciences haven't yet - does show the power of funders, but also limitation of reach.
I love so much of what is being said by the panellists and here on this chat but we are all the converted how can we turn this conversation outwards to effect the changes we know need to happen
Second @Sheena’s comment.
@aileen - very fair point
Zactly @Sophia re: engagement when the sun is shining (and in all weathers)
worth reflecting that perhaps my most successful engagement project via ESRC has been using board games for engagement with no tech anywhere in sight http://www.participology.com/
There has been many years of thinking about ‘purpose’ and ‘audience’ in terms of outcomes for many years. The question is why this has not shifted who engages enough. At a national museum all the drivers push these institutions to get more commercial income and increased visitor numbers for survival. We need to reimagine the role and purpose for these institutions who have huge reach and potential - and then change the business model to support it.
@sheena- I think- we might usefully bring people in and listen to them first - to be heard you have to first hear others?
Vivienne, it was unnecessary to cut someone off especially Erinma like that...
Emphasising outcomes rather than dialogue will allow more honesty about purposes of PE (we are doing this for marketing) and to avoid dialogue for dialogue’s sake. But to pick up on Fiona’s point from this morning, needs external pressures to ensure that the 'comfortable' options for institutions/influencers aren't the only forms of public engagement done.
On the question of "public trust" (in science, policy, the science-policy interface(s), etc: There is a question as to whether ordinary citizens have ever trusted any organisation or 'body' which is unknown to them in their ordinary lives. I found while involved with the nuclear controversy in the 1970s-1980s that what we call trust is more like (what I called) as-if trust. We tend to behave as if we trust this or that body because we know we are dependent on them, but we do not know what complex of factors drives them. So, with everything else to deal with everyday, we hope for the best and act as if we trust them - as someone asked earlier (thank you, sorry I lost your name!), isnt it more faith than 'trust'? Notice also, that if we take this point seriously, ordinary citizens are likely to be continually vigilant about the behaviour of those bodies (including scientific ones) - and this includes their track-record. It is RATIONAL, and cold-bloodedly practical, for citizens to question trust
Yes Hamied! Working at primary age makes a huge difference to open-ness to science. I worked for 10 years int he same school and can confirm a culture shift in that time.
How will we know that the outcomes for certain groups will be what they want, as well as what we want?
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Do check out this open letter, I think it already says what I am talking about: https://knowledgeispower.live/events/
Agree completely with Jack and Erinma about the dominance of the economic growth agenda in discourse about science - but this is not just expectation or pressure from politicians, it comes from somewhere, and at least to some extent from over-promising in terms of direct economic impacts of scientific research over many decades on the part of the scientific enterprise itself… This leads to a ratcheting up of the pressure and becomes a self-reinforcing dynamic
We don't need to try and have more trust. What we need is a rootin' tootin #ResearchRevolution; ditch publish or perish; less research outputs; meaning more 'real' time for engagement across the research cycle (including co-production; science shops; dialogue etc); reward and recognise research in different ways (not no. of publications); rewire the system so we have inclusivity and diversity.
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
I don’t think anyone is bashing UKRI colleagues?
How does an outcomes based approach account for unexpected/unintended outcomes or negative outcomes/impacts? And why are we so intent on changing publics anyway?
Good point @Brian. And I don't think we should want blind trust. We want scepticism and vigilance.
@David. I think changing science is more important than changing publics, personally...
Thank you Erinma and Imran (and anyone else!) for taking trouble to answer my question :)
Great question Alice :)
@Sophia definitely agree
@David I think outcomes, especially in a project, should never be absolute. The flexibility to allow for nuance and tweaks in the outcomes is also important. A project plan, including outcomes, should be an evolving document.
You can make science less exclusive by helping children learn that they can do science and it is interesting. That questioning is good. That needs support for teachers and those working with them.
To clarify - happy to hear panel reference community involvement schemes based around enjoyment & creativity. I wonder whether community-led science engagement will become increasingly framed around "solving problems" since we now have a few case studies where this has worked well. But could there be a danger of reinforcing power imbalances (e.g. a perception that underrepresented communities can only do science/science engagement when they face some kind of hardship)? Any reflections on this?
This about the way grants are done is important. There's very little flexibility - grant proposals are written to say "we'll find out this, we'll do this" and that doesn't allow for any surprises. But if the dialogue is genuine, you'll get surprises!
Point around science needing to change or public needing to change - feel like it’s a false dichotomy! e.g. on vaccines, -both- need to change. Scientists need to understand people’s concerns why they’re there, rather than telling people they’re stupid. And communities need to trust the science and take on responsibility for our shared health. It’s not either-or - and we can see that when we set the goal (all of us being protected from infection)
Emily Dawson's papers are fantastic!
@clio that's about the extent to which we are willing to give up power I think
I would like to see more hackspaces in empty high street units in left behind places- or any other appropriate community spaces- linked to HE and FE- for real problem solving and meeting people as people.
Are there ways as an engagement sector we can join up more over outcomes, such that the myriad of projects we all deliver feed into a greater impact agenda? Its often talked about at conferences and gatherings, but practically, how could it work and does it make sense?
Can we not forget or ‘leave behind’ the community engagement practitioners from marginalised groups, who have been doing this work for years. We need to fund them and build capacity in the organisations they run. They already exist and are doing the good work. Also the application process for funding is often horrible - definitely a massive barrier to access! How can we create better application process?
Manchester museum have been working with the community to co-create their new space on Asian art and history
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Sorry I didn’t get to answer the community-led questions - but it needs to be genuinely community led… and community partners paid for their participation
There is an amazing paper about older and disabled people who got deeply involved in a citizen science project about disaster relief https://repository.lboro.ac.uk/articles/The_motivations_enablers_and_barriers_for_voluntary_participation_in_an_online_crowdsourcing_platform/9347339
@Ken: re: joining up more over outcomes; interesting to think about this - although tricky to see how it would work in practice as so much engagement work is so specific; but if (in my utopian engaged world) - if there was so much more meaningful engaged stuff going on - you could get meta-type impacts/ benefits without even 'trying' to pull them together
(basically: it was REALLY important to them to help others, they felt they had lost a lot of their physical abilities so they gave "themselves")
Would it be pedantic to point out that wasn’t a question, Dan
@SaraKenney Hours of application form time for £500 makes it tough!
@Erinma I didn't realise you could respond to a Q&A directly! (My question could be interpreted as rhetorical.... Not sure it's going to get to the panel though).
@erinma- agree this is a long term perspective and not a project by project relationship
A lot of what we’ve talked about is not new: co-production, participatory futures, using film, photography, supporting people to create the methods of engagement that work for them, joining up different engagement approaches and activities, trust between different actors etc etc - these have been part of the discussion for 20+ years. So if we know all this, what is holding us back?
This session has been a great demonstration of the value of having diverse perspectives on panels!
agree on the challenges of funding applications and absolutely the need to pay people properly for their labour in doing this, especially when they are not scaffolded by large organisations.
excellent panel thankyou so much
excellent panel, thank you very much all
Outstanding panel - thank you all
Brilliant- and thought provoking- thank you
Great session, Thanks to all.
Yes, thank you to all on the panel
Thanks for the interest & qns everyone, and to my co-panellists. Sorry didn’t get a chance to respond to all of the great questions but will try and reply on twitter later this pm
Fantastic thoughtful presentations. What a great panel!
@UKRI peeps - will you also save the Chat? Think there has been really good discussion here - sometimes very different from the panel discussions and to the contributed Q&As (esp in the first half) - so be good to have this and the event recording.
Excellent session - many thanks to all the panel
Great panel and conversations - thank you @UKRI & @RoRI
@Diane, I think a lot of it comes back to an unwillingness to share power (in all forms), as discussed earlier.
Yes, thanks everyone - has been a really interesting discussion.
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Great questions from the audience, thanks for the challenges
Good point Diane - I think there has been change and spread, but slow. And Sophia is right - sharing power is uncomfortable.
Great panels and interesting discussions today, many thanks to RoRI and UKRI, more of this please!
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Hopefully the chat will be save automatically.
Re: PUS: many a year ago in my Wellcome days we had a chat about the term 'PUS' and what it could be renamed to; someone suggested 'Public Interaction w/ Science' - which has an equally unattractive acronym ;-)
There was also PEST!
didn't it become PAS for a bit (awareness) which was just as bad :-/
Agree @Sophia, @Ken- and that feeds into the issue raised by @Sarah and others - funding structures, ability of people doing really interesting work at local levels to access to funding etc. Sometimes in dialogue, you get a very clear sense that the people involved understand their position in the power structures and how it impacts on their views much better than anyone else: they take part enthusiastically and with huge interest and commitment, but are often, in the end, resigned about the extent to which their views will have much, if any purchase on the direction in which a science develops.
The concept of Science Capital is a brilliant one. We should be looking to build it in everyone.
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
The science capital is fine, but doesn’t solve the issue around social capital
If you're proposing more inclusivity - why not be transparent about your organisation and the projects it supports? Especially the demographics?
This is good from Ottoline, I think
In the late 1980s we used PISTE for a project - Public Interpretations of Science Technology and Engineering. I am an off-piste skier... - interpretations (meanings, and concerns) can legitimately vary!
Sorry @Erinma True!
What incentive is there for the parties who have benefitted from the systemic inequalities and still perpetuate them for that reason to help make this change?
Stevienna de Saille
Let us also talk about the effect of government policy on the university system, particularly its refusal to help universitites during covid in the same way they have bailed out big business. Most of this engagement work is done by postdocs on fixed-term contracts, and many of those will be made redundant over this year as their contracts come to an end. FTCs are effectively making the 'knowledge economy' into a gig economy for a whole generation.
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Lovely from response from our PI, Hilary Geoghegan (currently on mat leave) - ‘trust is a feeling, a relationship, a way of being that has to be built and maintained, cared for, respected, nurtured over time’
There shouldn't be a need for an "incentive" because everyone deserves an opportunity to do/benefit from/be part of science.But plenty of research shows that more diverse and inclusive organisations perform better when there's higher diversity
also the fact that the government want to borrow back postdocs etc without considering how this might impact the other research they do and their future prospects
On Science Capital, try this https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/tea.21227
@erinma that is a lovely quote.
The knowledge economy is always going to be an exclusive concept regardless of how you close the gap because it implies only a small part of the economy relative to the economy people actually work in an interact with. It also risks underplaying the contribution research, innovation and advanced training can contribute to more mundane/foundational parts of the economy…
@erinma- could you tweet that so I can write it down please?
science is a political football however.
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
@annette Bramley - follow @DrHG on twitter
Is only "science" football, or do arts, humanities, social sciences get to play too?
Thanks for a fab panel and event
Have a good day everyone!
Many thanks all - very interesting listening!
bump for @stevianna’s point above - reflects a broader paradox in how government sees universities, academics and students - both as resources and as some kind of cultural enemies
in my book social science is science; often relgated to bolt on engagement erroneously
Barbara Mizhtal, Trust (~1994),
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Our PI is a cultural geographer - follow @DrHG on twitter
great to have old and new voices in this event. are we all now going to the pub? please form orderly groups of six
Thanks for a really interesting event. The differences between panel 1 and panel 2 were striking. When do we have the conversations about creating sector-wide, strategic action based on panel 2's experiences, comments, and provocations?
Thanks for a really interesting morning to the organisers, panellists and all the really thought-provoking ideas and questions in the chat.
@helen agreed 100%
@Helen F, +1!
That would be great to see Helen F
Erinma Ochu (She/They)
Gonna have to run, but do feel free to follow https://twitter.com/EngagingEnviro1 the wonderful Joyce Ternenge has been tweeting today. I have to run and teach… project management - ciao!
Thank you to everyone, and a very brief parting thought but perhaps there needs to be a conscious effort to maintain interest and the ~trust~ of students within universities who have the potential to be both scientist and citizen concurrently, but who perhaps feel like the main priority of the institutions they pay tuition to is not their education
Completely agree that would be great to see @Helen
Science itself is a collaborative pursuit and science engagement should follow this, with power shared by all. Trust is built through relationships over time, often personally and locally. Local knowledge, local partnerships, bottom up and working properly together needs to be at the heart of what we do.