Learning from science communication's past

Exploratory Award

Project Team:

Principal Investigator:

Professor Graeme Gooday, University of Leeds


Dr Jon Topham, University of Leeds,

Professor John Dupre, University of Exeter,

Professor Jim Secord, University of Cambridge,

Professor Mike Hardy, Institute of Community Cohesion, University of Coventry,

Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker, Institute of Community Cohesion, University of Coventry (formerly British Council),

Ms Victoria Blake, University of Leeds

Project Partners:

British Council

Award Information:

This Exploratory Award project was set up to explore how approaches from the history of science (especially the history of its communication) might in future benefit and feed into a freshly enhanced, more inclusive approach to science communication. By exploring past lessons concerning effective and ineffective modes of science communication, this project explored more creative, open-ended ways of engaging with communities beyond those typically reached by such initiatives, with emphasis on routes to accomplishing effective two-way reciprocal interactions between ‘science’ and ‘society’.

The key outcome of the project’s development activities was the recognition that there are a number of intersecting areas of research across humanities, arts, science communication, social sciences and science education. Researchers in these areas can beneficially be brought together in order to work effectively and closely with colleagues in the sciences. Together they could create more effective models and modes of engaging with marginalised or ‘hard to reach’ audiences for science communication and policy engagement initiatives, in the UK and internationally.  The network recognises the need to engage with such potential audiences and thus seeks to develop opportunities to work in a clustered cross-disciplinary initiative to produce appropriate applied/policy research outputs in partnership with a range of non-HEI organisations.

Further information:

A Case Study (PDF) of this AHRC Science in Culture Theme Exploratory Award is available to download here.

Project dates: February- September 2012