Falling Walls Engage Tools

A selection of free tools and useful documents and other external sources for your daily work in Science Engagement.

This includes tools to measure your Science Engagement project’s impact, resources to help you structure your project strategically and help you engage various audiences.

Would you like to post a report, white paper or similar resource on this page? Then contact us at engage@falling-walls.com.

Preliminary Report: Science Engagement and Funding

Under The Microscope has published its preliminary report on Science Engagement and Funding, a research project that was commissioned to investigate and determine underlying reasons for underfunding Science Engagement programs and projects.

Impact Planning

The Impact Planning Tool considers the following aspects:

  • Type of project/activity
    STEM podcast vs. STEM workshop at the school
  • Goals (Why?)
    Learn about climate change vs. reduce plastic consumption vs. improve regional air pollution
  • Target group/s (To whom?)
    Teachers vs. rural communities vs. policymakers
  • Format (What?)
    Budget, size, online, hybrid/physical, time frame
  • Content
    Tailored workshop for students on pollution and its environmental impact vs. local citizen science on native species vs. science café on climate science

Theory of Change

A Theory of Change is an impact strategy and evaluation framework which allows us to formulate the results and long-term societal changes that a project aims to achieve:

  • Challenges – the societal problems IYSE wants
    to tackle with its activities.
  • Outputs – the direct results from the activities
    IYSE develops or promotes.
  • Outcomes – the changes in skills, knowledge,
    behaviour, and actions of IYSE’s target groups.
  • Impact – the significant, lasting, and sustained
    change that occurs on people’s lives as a result
    of IYSE’s activities.

Impact & Sustainability Canvas

The Impact & Sustainability Canvas (ISC) contemplates the following aspects:

  • Value proposition (outcomes & impact), challenge, vision/solution (work towards a better world and SDGs)
  • Results (outputs), activities, resources
  • Actors (beneficiaries, partners, influencers), relations and channels, key obstacles
  • External Conditions, Impact, Side effects
  • Cost structure
  • Flow revenues

Evaluation Decision Tree

The Evaluation Decision Tree shows the following aspects for projects:

  • Interest / motives
  • Goals (consider target group/s, communication channels, format)
  • Activity design (size, setting, time frame)
  • Evaluation design (summative; formative; hybrid)
  • Study design (data collection, timing)
  • Quantitative or qualitative methods; suitable methods
  • Data to be collected (numerical, textual); which data sources

ENGAGING THE EXCLUDED REVIEW

A PERSPECTIVE REVIEW on how to better reach and engage with EXCLUDED communities

Where are we today when it comes to engaging excluded communities, often referred to as “underserved”, “underprivileged” or “marginalized”?

This timely question is the topic of “Engaging the Excluded”, a perspective review mapping out the current state of inclusive Science Engagement in academic debates and through five exemplary case-studies. This publication, commissioned by Falling Walls Engage, was developed and written by Rokia Ballo, researcher in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at the University College London (UCL).

To accompany the launch of the review, we have produced “Engaging the Excluded”, a short film and resource for practitioners presenting key learnings and featuring the five projects cited in the review (see below).

Following a launch webinar in August 2021 with Rokia Ballo, we brought this discussion to Berlin Science Week 2021 during online webinar to discuss key learnings and challenges around inclusion. Both events provided a space for participants to exchange and engage with some of the contributors involved in the review.

ABSTRACT

The need for scientists to effectively communicate and engage the public with science has never been clearer. However, ensuring communication and engagement are delivered equitably remains a challenge for practitioners.

This perspective review begins by revisiting some of the history of public engagement and science communication, to offer a contextual understanding of where we are today and how the relationship between science and society has changed over time. This initial overview illustrates that historic global inequalities are embedded in and continue to influence modern science, meaning that many communities remain excluded from the construction, communication and use of scientific knowledge.

The literature suggests that despite calls to democratise science and much theorising on how this might be achieved from those within science communication and public engagement, in practice their activities are often criticized for reinforcing patterns of exclusion found in wider society which particularly impact marginalized groups at risk of other forms of social exclusion.

However, as the world continues to turn its attention to issues of inequality, so has the scientific community, with many already attempting to break down barriers to accessing science and foster inclusive engagement. This review concludes by providing examples of how inclusive practice is being employed across a range of geographies and cultural contexts: sharing key learnings from each to suggest how we might better engage the excluded with science moving forward.

 

Short film

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT

Rokia Ballo

University College London

Rokia Ballo is a Science and Technology Studies (STS) researcher whose work focuses on the ways science for policy, science advisory systems and politics intersect with social inequality. She recently completed her MSc in STS at University College London (UCL) and won both the STS course prize and Kathleen Lonsdale dissertation prize. She will begin her PhD at UCL’s STS department this autumn. Rokia is also interested in inclusive practice within science communication. She is Co-Chair of Science London (nominated for an ITV National Diversity Award 2021) who deliver workshops and resources for scientists and communicators to employ equitable practice in their work. She is committed to developing polyvocal and decolonial narratives of science that take us beyond academic institutions and centre equity and social justice.

Mohamed Daoud

American University in Cairo

Mohamed Daoud is a science communication & development officer at the American University in Cairo, where he works on numerous projects to break the wall between science and society. These projects are geared toward underserved minorities, and indigenous communities to spark their curiosity and to encourage more students to adopt science and technology career.

In the field of science communication and engagement he is considered as one of the pioneers in the field in Egypt and the MENA area. One of his projects helped in building a number of regional science centres across Egypt. His work has been recognised as one of the winners of Falling Walls Engage in the year 2020. He is also an active member of many national and international networks for Science Communication and Journalism.

Chandrakant Redican

National Center For Biological Sciences

Chandrakant Redican (He/Him) is a Science Communicator, Educator and Spoken Word Poet. He currently oversees Outreach and Communications Efforts at the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. He co-organized the International Science and Poetry Cafe and is the Co-Founder of Bullock Cart Poetry through which he has organized over 200 poetry events. He has over 10 years of experience teaching science in Rural India and is currently working on a project that aims to bring Science Communication to Spiritual Places in India using poetry.

Ethnically Chandrakant is half Irish-Canadian from his father’s side and Half Maharashtrian Dalit on his mother’s side. Dalits are the untouchable lower caste communities in India which have suffered from lack of opportunity and systematic oppression for centuries to this day. Growing up in a village in rural India within this community has greatly shaped Chandrakant’s perspective. As an empowered member of the community who has a voice and the privilege of education, Chandrakant aims to create sci-comm spaces where more people from historically oppressed minorities can assert themselves, voice their opinions and are empowered to take up careers in science.

Maria Vicente

Leiden University

Maria Vicente is the international Project Manager of the H2020 Open Science Hub project at Leiden University, that comprises nine European partners. Maria holds a PhD in Neuroscience and was responsible for the Science Education programme at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal. Since 2017, she has also been the Scientific Coordinator of Plataforma de Ciência Aberta, a social innovation program of the Municipality of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Portugal, aimed at bringing together research and innovation with the daily-life of local communities, as tools to tackle local relevant challenges.

Find out more about Open Science Hub Portugal on opensciencehub.net and on the Portuguese website “Plataforma de Ciência Aberta”.

Saeeda Bhatti

University of Glasgow

Saeeda Bhatti has several years experience working in science communication and as a STEM Ambassador and is passionate about taking science out to her local community. Saeeda is a member of the teaching staff in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing at the University of Glasgow and implemented a series of innovative and ambitious public engagement and science communication events in conjunction with local primary schools in the Gorbals, promoting STEM engagement in areas with traditionally low participation. In December 2017, Saeeda won the University of Glasgow Knowledge and Exchange Award for best Community Public Engagement Initiative as a result of her recent work in this area. She was also a finalist for the Herald Higher Education award for community outreach in 2019.

Find out more about  STEM in the Gorbals in this impact study and this newsletter on the University of Glasgow’s website. You can also listen to the podcast of STEM in the Gorbals here. 

 

Nicolas Bonne

University of Portsmouth

Dr. Nicolas Bonne is a vision impaired astronomer and science communicator at the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. He leads the Tactile Universe public engagement project, which is developing free 3D printable resources to help vision impaired people (particularly students) engage with current topics in astronomy research. With this project he won Falling Walls Engage 2020 and was announced Breakthrough of the Year in Science Engagement.

Additionally he works as consultant and advisor with groups both nationally and internationally to develop methods of communicating their science in more accessible ways.

Report: Institutionalization of Science Engagement

Science Engagement aims to involve individuals that are not part of the scientific community in science initiatives. Ana I. Faustino has published a report on the Institutionalization of Science Engagement as part of the Commitments to Action.

Report: Engaging Hard-to-Reach and Vulnerable Populations

Bernard Appiah and Julian Ferreras have published a report on “Report: Engaging Hard-to-Reach and Vulnerable Populations” as part of the Commitments to Action. The objective is to identify elements of innovative and successful Science Engagement projects involving hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations, and create a guide for Science Engagement practitioners to plan, implement and evaluate similar projects.

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