Socially inclusive science communication

Authors: Luisa Massarani, Matteo Merzagora (JCOM)

Social inclusion is an emerging preoccupation in the science communication field. The political value of science communication (e.g. in terms of empowerment) and the necessity to address all audiences has always been considered, but in recent times the participation agenda has enriched the rationale and methodologies of the communication of science: social inclusion is not only an issue of access to knowledge, but also of governance and co-production.


Invited comments:

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

Barbara Streicher, Kathrin Unterleitner, Heidrun Schulze
Knowledge rooms — science communication in local, welcoming spaces to foster social inclusion

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

Leïla Perié, Livio Riboli-Sasco, Claire Ribrault
Straight into conflict zones, scientific research empowers the minds


The “Intelligent Layman” and Science Communication in Norwegian Public Places

Kristian Overskaug, Arnfinn Rokne, Morten Steffensen

When the oldest research enterprise in Norway, the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters, was founded in 1760 in the city of Trondheim, the cofounder Johan Gunnerus (1718-1773) said that one objective was to impart sciences to the “intelligent layman”—the man and woman in the street. A museum, a journal, a library, a botanical garden, and funding for research and dissemination are central means employed in this work. Lecturers have also been taking their audience to an untraditional arena, an urban or a rural setting, where they lecture on a topic of current interest using the location as a backdrop. Their audience does not necessarily have prior knowledge of the topic, and the lecturers lacks the safety net that an auditorium represents. The setting requires pedagogical improvement and also encourages discussions and the posing of questions. Has the objective to educate the public been attained?