Straight into conflict zones, scientific research empowers the minds

Leïla Perié, Livio Riboli-Sasco, Claire Ribrault (JCOM)

Sharing scientific knowledge in conflict zones may not sound like a priority. Still science communicators can contribute to address social issues by inviting people to experience research practice, engaging them in scientific questioning and constructive dialog.



Science Centers. Which role can they play to participate in a city social reconstruction?

Claudia Aguirre (JCOM)

Science centers are seen as places for communication of science very focused on the mise en scène of the content and methodologies of natural sciences. However, in the recent history, these institutions are transforming their role within education and transformation processes in the society they are engaged with. This communication presents a social project in Medellín, Colombia, that involves a vulnerable community, the local authorities of the city, academic institutions and NGO’s and a science center that is neighbor to this community.


Knowledge rooms — science communication in local, welcoming spaces to foster social inclusion

Barbara Streicher, Kathrin Unterleitner, Heidrun Schulze (JCOM)

Socially inclusive science communication has to take place where people spend most of their time — within their communities. The concept of knowledge rooms uses empty shops in socially disadvantaged urban areas for offering low-threshold, interactive science center activities. The commentary carves out essential features that contributed to the success of the pilot project. Most importantly, the knowledge◦ rooms had to be welcoming and comfortable for visitors of various backgrounds. The spaces were easy to access, the initiators were seen as trustworthy actors by temporarily becoming part of the community and the offer was respectful of the time and knowledge of its users.


Reframing social exclusion from science communication: moving away from ‘barriers’ towards a more complex perspective

Emily Dawson (JCOM)

Science communication is an increasingly important field of activity, research and policy. It should not be assumed however, that science communication practices provide equitable and empowering opportunities for everyone. Social exclusion, inclusion and equity are key challenges for practitioners, researchers, policy makers and funders involved with science communication. In this commentary I reflect on the limitations of the ‘barriers approach to understanding social inclusion and exclusion from science communication and argue instead that a more complex perspective is needed. I conclude that placing equity at the heart of science communication is crucial for developing more inclusive science communication practices.