Public engagement with science is important for increasing scientific literacy of the public, helping increase support for government funding for science projects, and raising awareness of environmental issues and of how people can mitigate and adapt to changing environments. Engagement can be seen as a spectrum: from one-way communication (from researchers to “the public”) at one end, to “co-created” research projects at the other, with members of the public directly participating in the design, research activities and analysis.
SEI engagement activities occur across this spectrum. This document presents the results of an internal review of how both SEI and its peers engage the public with scientific research. The work included case studies, a survey of SEI staff, a desk study of other organizations’ engagement activities, and a day-long workshop for SEI staff held in Stockholm in January 2014.
The goal of this project is to identify best practices, encourage wider adoption of effective engagement methods, and start building a community of practice at SEI to continue to share knowledge and learn together how best to engage the public in different project contexts. The materials presented here were developed primarily for internal use, but are shared here to contribute to broader discussions and invite feedback from both within and outside SEI.
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