With the benefit of some fun and challenging mentoring from Joanna Goven (see our reflexive scientist post) Rhian and I have been getting all reflexive about our own practice and reflecting (yes, there is a difference) on the science communication ecosystem in New Zealand. We were therefore delighted to be asked to contribute to the special issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand on the future of science in New Zealand and took the opportunity to write a bit of an overview of science communication in Aotearoa New Zealand today, and to put forward some ideas for the future.
To borrow some words from our abstract, in this paper we “propose a vision for the future in which scientists, science communicators and science policy are informed by theory, and theoreticians are informed by science communication practice.” This is a theme we introduced in our reflexive scientist paper: as people trained in science who’ve moved into science communication Rhian and I each work with a wide range of people, including scientist communicators, social scientists who study science communication and public engagement with science, dedicated science communicators and policymakers and facilitators who work in this area. We think we could all work much more efficiently, and communicate with each other more effectively, if we had more insight into each other’s approaches to science communication, whether it be theoretical or practical.
But that’s just one of the observations in the paper. For more, read the paper. As I’m writing this, I can see it’s had 666 (!) views, so hopefully it’s having some kind of impact or prompting some discussions. It’s been open access for this first month, but if you don’t have institutional access to the journal, you can download a copy of it here.
There are some fabulous articles in this special issue, including some by our friends/colleagues/collaborators Leon Gurevich (The innovation engines: science, entertainment and convergence in New Zealand’s research future), Kate McGrath (Sustainable growth of New Zealand’s economy from New Zealand’s science sector) and Craig Stevens (When the holiday is over: being clever in New Zealand’s marine domain). All worth a look!