Science communication is at a pivotal stage in its evolution due to the emergence of digital communication platforms that are not only presenting new opportunities but are also leading to new challenges. RETHINK will provide an unprecedented view of the new science communication landscape to reveal the barriers and inequalities that stand in the way of open and reflexive connections between science and society. It will also present the way forward, encouraging evidence-based transformations in science communication practice as well as guiding relevant policy to further open Research & Innovation (R&I) to society.To achieve this, RETHINK will provide a 360° view of the current science communication landscape. It will map current science communication activities across Europe, including those taking place in the currently uncharted digital sphere. It will seek input from R&I stakeholders who are currently disengaged with science communication.
Outputs will be new ways of training those who engage in science communication, including those underserved by current training – such as bloggers and social media commentators. There will be online briefs aimed at changing current science communication practices to break down barriers preventing open R&I and reach underserved audiences across the EU. Strategies will be developed to improve individual and collective sensemaking by enhancing its openness and reflexivity. Guidance on policy will also be provided to create an environment that encourages open R&I. All of these outputs will be open access, as will the data generated during the research process to encourage a broad discussion and maximise uptake.
RETHINK will bring about meaningful, long-term change in science communication to maximise the opportunities and overcome the challenges of digitalisation, allowing the sector to help society meet key challenges across the European community and beyond.
Coordinator: Athena Institute, research department at Vrije Universiteit’s Faculty of Science (Amsterdam)
Funding scheme: RIA – Research and Innovation action
Partners: Italy (Sissa Medialab), the Netherlands (Athena Institute, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Poland (Copernicus Science Center), Portugal (Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier – ITQB NOVA), Serbia (Center for the Promotion of Science), Sweden (V&A), UK (UWE Bristol – University of the West of England)