On July 27-28 2021, SciPEP will convene a virtual conference on the unique characteristics of engaging the public in basic research, drawing from the experience and expertise of our colleagues in the science and science communication communities. Communicating the Future: Engaging the Public in Basic Science will share effective best practices, discuss challenges in this work, and explore communication and engagement scholarship. We intend to develop and offer practical advice for scientists and professionals who work to engage various publics with basic research.
The conference program will be organized around the following three aspects of public engagement in science:
- Scholarship (e.g. communications research) – whether and how it can be applied to public engagement practice, and identify new research questions;
- Training – public engagement skills development for scientist-communicators and the communication professionals who work with them; and
- Engagement practice – activities or programs that provide opportunities for mutual learning or exchange of ideas between scientists and members of the public.
Key cross-cutting issues in each of these areas include strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion, evaluating the effectiveness of public engagement activities and programs, and where we as a community can go from here. What we discuss and learn at this conference will also inform future directions of SciPEP and the resources and training we propose to develop for basic scientists.