21ST Century Scientists Working Group

November 17th 2015

Recap: Journal Club- Knowledge is Power

“Knowledge Is Power”: A Mixed-Methods Study Exploring Adult Audience Preferences for Engagement and Learning Formats Over 3 Years of a Health Science Festival


One-way communication from scientists to the public is often scorned in favor of a two-way communication dialogue, however, there has been little research aimed at finding what people actually prefer. Fogg-Rogers et al. (2015) surveyed a large science festival in New Zealand over the course of three years in order to determine public preferences for science engagement formats. The annual Brain Day Auckland festival combines hands-on labs, children’s activities, music, art, community group expos and scientist talks (both lectures and dialogue discussions) to communicate information on brain health and current neuroscience research. Over the three-year study period 89% of participants attended the lectures, 77% stated the lectures were their main reason for attending, and 84% found the lectures useful. The lecture was consistently ranked number 1 for attendance and usefulness every year. This result was consistent across age, gender, ethnicity, and education level. While the lecture format was preferred by the vast majority of participants, it remains to be seen whether stand-alone lectures would be as attractive outside of the science festival atmosphere.

November 15th 2015

Upcoming talk: Communicating Science to Policy Makers

This Friday 11/20 at noon in 109A Davenport Hall, Dr. Marianne Alleyne will speak on “Communicating Science to Policy Makers”. Dr. Alleyne, is currently a Science Policy Fellow for the Entomological Society of America. She will lead a discussion on how scientists can influence public and science policy initiatives to raise awareness of the importance of the sciences in policy discussions. Everyone is welcome to join!

November 9th 2015

Journal Club meeting on 11/13/15

We will be meeting in 109A Davenport Hall at noon on Friday 11/13/15 for a journal club discussion lead by Daniel Urban.

The article we will be discussing is “Knowledge Is Power”: A Mixed-Methods Study Exploring Adult Audience Preferences for Engagement and Learning Formats Over 3 Years of a Health Science Festival” FoggRogers_15

Everyone is welcome to join!

November 9th 2015

Recap: Discussion about bringing STEM to marginalized populations

Ian Traniello and Stephen Fleming (graduate students in the neuroscience program) lead an informal discussion with our group about their work at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. They have organized a group of graduate students interested in teaching stand alone lessons in various STEM fields to the kids in the detention center. They want to remove obstacles that stand in the way of this population engaging STEM. If you are interested in getting involved let us know and we can put you in touch with Ian and Stephen!