4. Diverse goals and new evaluation strategies for PES
Develop a community of practice to investigate, articulate, and acknowledge the diverse goals and motivations for developing PES activities, and to develop an evaluation framework that can handle the complexity of PES.

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The PES practitioners who responded to the Dimensions of PES survey and who attended the workshop have ventured into PES activities for a variety of different reasons and so the outcomes they are hoping to achieve may also be different. Furthermore, since PES envisions multiple learners and the role of values in decision-making, the methods and standards of evaluation we currently use in the domain of public understanding of science may not be the most appropriate for PES.

  • As a community of practice, articulate and acknowledge the diverse goals and motivations for developing PES programs and initiatives.
  • Recognize that there may be competing outcomes.
    - For example, some PES programs are designed to increase public trust in science.
    - Some PES programs are designed to increase critical thinking about science which might not result in public support for science.
  • As a community of practice, investigate, articulate, and acknowledge the diverse goals and motivations for developing PES activities.
  • Recognize that there may be conflicting outcomes, and all have value and should be funded.
  • Develop an evaluation framework that can handle the complexity of PES
    - This could include how to research and evaluate long-term impacts of PES experiences and impacts on/learning of groups (not just individuals)
  • This community of practice should include people and organizations in addition to those in ISE.
    - For example, funding agencies beyond NSF
    - Scientists
    - Civic engagement organizations
    - Arts and cultural centers
    - Humanities and social scientists