IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON SCIENCE ENGAGEMENT

Thinking about the impact of COVID-19 in Science Engagement, in order to derive better support approaches to Science Engagement practitioners

The COVID-19 pandemic further increased the relevance of the dialogue between science and society. On one hand, both mistrust in scientific evidence and vaccine hesitancy are obvious reasons why scientific literacy and trust in science are needed. On the other hand, the pandemic also deepened inequalities worldwide, making it crucial to further develop Science Engagement programs that can help educate and empower communities worldwide.

However, also due to the pandemic, the majority of Science Engagement initiatives were forced to shift from physical to online formats, as well as to adapt tools and content to the virtual reality. To have a better insight into the impact of the pandemic in the Science Engagement landscape, as well as to foster the field according to the current challenges and needs, we prepared an open survey that was answered by Science Engagement practitioners from all corners of the world, from diverse Science Engagement areas.

These are the outstanding findings of the survey:

  • Practitioners identified more interest from the public in science topics in general, but mostly in pandemic-related topics. They observed an increased involvement from doctors and scientists of all career levels in Science Engagement activities.
  • The pandemic made very clear, for scientists, the relevance and need of speaking about science to the public.
  • Online initiatives led to worldwide reach, connectivity and collaboration.
  • Science Engagement practitioners gained more knowledge on interactive media tools.
  • Online work led to the creation of new Science Engagement initiatives and formats, and enabled reaching out to new target groups.

If we want to know more about the detailed results of the survey, as well as lessons learned and its integration into future activities, click on the button below.

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