Strategic Directions for Public Engagement with Science
At a workshop about Public Engagement with Science held on May 12, 2011, at the Museum of Science in Boston, 55 participants developed preliminary descriptions of activities they felt were needed by the field for further development of public engagement with science practices within the informal science education community. The notes from flipcharts that outlined their thoughts fall into nine broad and sometimes overlapping themes. This wiki provides participants with the opportunity to flesh out these strategic directions for the field by adding comments and further developing the ideas from the May 12 discussions. (Brainstorming at the ASTC PES CoP Launch Meeting in October 2011, is sorted in terms of these sine directions in a document available on the Files for Sharing page.)

  1. Philosophy of practice – PES embedded in community
    Develop a philosophy of practice that embeds informal science institutions in their communities to be active participants in community civic issues, because of their capabilities to convene and facilitate.
  2. Keeping PES going – community impact beyond the event
    Develop methods to keep public engagement going after a particular engagement event, through such tools as social media, online activities, collaborations and partnerships, community relevance, stakeholder communities, and linkages to civic issues and policies.
  3. Infrastructure for readiness to implement PES
    Build the informal science education infrastructure necessary to respond to PES questions as they arise, connecting practitioners, building best practices, expanding and generalizing current efforts, connecting to existing networks, and providing resources, tools, and guides.
  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.
  5. Engaging scientists in PES
    Explore common goals for public and scientist/expert participation in PES, research actual goals of past or current participants, and develop an understanding of benefits to share with all.
  6. Engaging under-represented audiences in PES
    Seek strategies for PES for hard-to-reach, non-traditional audiences, matching topics with audience interest and need, and developing delivery strategies that work for audiences not now engaged.
  7. Building PES perspectives into existing activities
    Develop methods for augmenting current and future exhibits and programs with PES components and strategies to cost effectively leverage existing resources and reach larger numbers of people with PES.
  8. Financing PES
    Develop funding strategies for PES, potential audience financed models as well as identifying corporations, foundations or other organizations with interest in the societal benefits of PES that might provide funding for its implementation.
  9. Dissemination of PES
    Explore mechanisms for dissemination of PES strategies, products, resources, tools, technologies, motivational value propositions, and embedment strategies with traveling programs, showcases, and a core task force to develop and disseminate.