Science Engagement encompasses a broad spectrum of approaches and activities linking science and society. However, beyond the English terminology, what does Science Engagement mean in other regions of the world? How could the term be translated in order to catch the meaning of “Science Engagement” in as few words as possible? In January, we asked these questions in our Community and have received stunning results. In the following, you will find an overview of how different regions of the world define Science Engagement and what the term means in their languages.


What is our purpose and how was the process designed?

To explore other translations of the term, we started to run a short survey between 18 January and 20 February 2023, which was shared in our Community-led newsletter SuperHive, on Twitter, in our monthly newsletter and on email basis.

In this period we received 33 translations in 15 different languages as follows:

  • Ten translations into Spanish (Latin America and Spain)
  • Four translations into Arabic from Egypt and Libya
  • Three translations into French from France and Québec, Canada
  • Three translations into Ewe, spoken in Ghana, Togo and Benin
  • Two translations into Yoruba, language of Nigeria.
  • Two translations into German and Portuguese.
  • One translation into Setswana, spoken in Botswana, Italian, Swedish, Polish, Greek, Hungarian and Breton, spoken in Brittany, France

The meaning of Science Engagement in the different regions

If we break down the answers of the survey to common themes, we noticed the following tendencies: Regardless of the region, people associate Science Engagement with dialogue, co-creation, participation, sharing, cooperation, transformational learning, a bottom-up approach and a two-way communication. We collected some statements from the participants to evidence the above-mentioned:

“Science Engagement is an intentional process that summons all social actors to participate in practices of exchange, dialogue, analysis, reflection, and negotiation to achieve the understanding and transformation of their contexts. This is generated through the management, production, and application of science, technology, and innovation in environments of trust, equity, and inclusion between the State, academia, the private sector, and citizens.” Respondent from Latin America

“When citizens have the opportunity to take part in science, to be exposed to science, to discuss science.” Respondent from North America

“Science Engagement is about bringing scientists and other professionals closer to the public to create transformational learning experiences in an environment of trust. Thus, conversation is central to engagement.” Respondent from Africa

It is also interesting to see the translations into the different languages and the reverse translation into English. Here, topics such as collaboration, co-creation, dialogue and empowerment are used to reinforce the translation and establish a better connection to the meaning of Science Engagement.


How is “Science Engagement” translated into other languages?

When we look at the translations and also the back-translations into English, we noticed that there are many different angles for the term “Science Engagement”, but they all boil down to a common meaning.

Moreover, the term is often translated not only in one or two words, but in partial sentences. The most frequently used words are “participation”, “mediation”, “involvement”, “empowerment”, “interaction” and “integration” among others.

In the following list you can find all translations and back-translations into English we have received so far:


  • دمج العلوم : Science integration
  • التفاعل مع العلوم : Interact with science
  • إشراك المجتمع في العلوم : Engaging the community with science


  • Hanterouriezh skiantel: Scientific mediation


  • Dzɔdzɔmeŋutinunya ƒe nutsotso: Information/news about science
  • Dzɔdzɔmeŋutinunya ƒe numedzodzro: Discussion/analysis about science
  • Dzɔdzɔmeŋutinunya ƒe gomekpɔkpɔ: Participation in science


  • Engagement citoyen en sciences: Civic engagement in science
  • Mobilisation scientifique: Scientific mobilisation
  • Engagement scientifique: Scientific engagement
  • Médiation scientifique: Scientific mediation


  • Wissenschaftliches Engagement: Scientific engagement
  • Austausch mit der Wissenschaft: Exchange with science


  • Ενεργή ενασχόληση με την επιστήμη: Active engagement with science


  • Összetartás: Sticking together / working together / togetherness


  • Participazione pubblica nella scienza: The participation of people in science


  • zaangażowanie na nauki: Commitment to science


  • Compromisso científico: Scientific engagement
  • Envolvimento científico: Scientific involvement


  • Therisanyo ka tsa maranyane: A discussion and engagement about science


  • Alcance científico: Scientific scope
  • Participación pública en la ciencia: Public participation in science
  • Apropiación Social del Conocimiento: Social appropriation of knowledge
  • Popularización de la Ciencia: Popularization of science
  • Investigación-Acción-Participación: Research-Action-Participation
  • Involucramiento científico: Scientific involvement
  • Empoderamiento científico: Scientific empowerment
  • Encuentro con la Ciencia: Encountering science
  • Compromiso científico, compromiso con la ciencia, involucrarse con la ciencia: Commitment to science, involvement with science
  • Compromiso con o de la ciencia: Engagement with or of science
  • Vinculación científica: Scientific linkage


  • Forskningskommunikationsaktiviteter: research communications activities


  • Sise ise pelu imo ijinle: Working with science
  • Mimu imo ijinle ni okukun dun fun ilosiwaju ati idagbasoke: Prioritizing scientific knowledge for growth and development


“It is a co-creation process”

What we could learn from this little exercise is that there is a consensus on what constitutes Science Engagement and Science Engagement activities – namely a two-way process and co-creation approaches in involving the public in scientific processes.

We are happy about the lively participation of our Community in our survey. It is very exciting to see the different languages and translations gathered in one place and to see how much we agree in different regions of the world in our definition of Science Engagement – which also brings us closer to each other as a Community.



It should be emphasised at this point that this article does not claim to be exhaustive. It is a preliminary study and a first step in collecting the meaning and translation of “Science Engagement” in the world, understanding the individual perspectives and approaches to Science Engagement.

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