Science Communication and Public Engagement

As well as researching public engagement with science we communicate with a range of publics through writing – in books, magazine articles, podcasts and blogs.

We also initiate and facilitate a range of events, including seminars, festivals, educational events, workshops and training in specific aspects of science communication (such as communication about controversial sciences or climate change). We have played leadership roles in the engagement and communication strategies and activities of several cross-institutional science research programmes, including the Deep South National Science Challenge, Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre of Research Excellence, and the MBIE-funded NZ SeaRise programme. Examples of some recent science communication outputs by our team are here:

We take a multi-disciplinary approach to our research into science communication and public engagement, often collaborating with scientists, and incorporating theories and methods from across the humanities and social sciences with the aim of better understanding and informing the practice of public engagement with science.

Our research builds on the distinctive science communication landscape in Aotearoa, which includes a relatively small and well-connected community of science communication practitioners and scholars, relatively easy access to science media and policy-makers, and a strong influence from mātauranga Māori and indigenous cultural practices.

We have strong connections with the Science Media Centre and the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand, with Sarah-Jane O’Connor as president of SCANZ.

The School of Science in Society research students are exploring topics such as the role of storytelling in communicating about sea level rise in Aotearoa; design approaches to fostering reflexive science communication; applying methodologies from psychological science to examine communication of controversial scientific issues; and rural attitudes towards weather forecasting and climate change projections.

Examples of recent research outputs related to science communication and public engagement with science include:

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School of Science in Society

Associate Professor

School of Science in Society

Teaching Fellow
Centre for Science in Society