Science Rewired is an initiative that aims to engage the public in science through digital and social platforms. They focus on three domains: science communication, science education and citizen science. The creators of Science Rewired view engagement with and education in science as empowering. Science Rewired began in London, but now has an office in Sydney.
On October 11, Science Rewired are hosting their first event in Australia, in Adelaide at the Science Exchange. The theme is “Connect, Collaborate and Communicate for Change.” It’s essentially a big meeting of scientists, science communicators, academics and media professionals coming together to discuss and explore the ways that social media, crowdsourcing and digital technologies can be used to engage the public in science to solve the myriad of social and scientific issues of our time (climate change, anyone?).
As the official unofficial communications director for STAQ (can I call myself that?) it is of interest to me to see how other organisations interact and engage with their members for the promotion of science and science education. While there are not many teachers out there using social media to engage their students, and only a few more using it at all, my experience** with pre-service teachers tells me that unless we enter and make use of digital spaces to connect, collaborate and communicate, we won’t keep up with the new generation of teachers coming through, and perhaps our Association will pass into obscurity…
There are a few themes for the day but I’m most interested in “future trends in digital technologies for science communication and science education.” I’m interested in ways that teachers, academics and schools can engage their students in science using digital technologies. I’m passionate about helping all students develop scientific literacy* for exactly the reason Science Rewired gives above. An understanding of science, scientific endeavour, and scientific practice (including the nature of science and scientific evidence) is imperative for all citizens to enact solutions for the many challenges confronting us now and in the future. This links with the additional themes of “the democratisation of science” and “Big Data in science communication and education.”
Finally, I’m excited about meeting a number of people I have chatted with on Twitter: Kristin Alford and presenters Dr Will Grant, Ben McKenzie, Kylie Sturgess and Dr Paul Willis. They are all interesting people who are worth following; sometimes for the science, sometimes for the laughs. And as evidence that Twitter really is democratic, I’ve managed to have chats at one time or another with all of them. You can also follow Science Rewired on Twitter. I’ll also be visiting RIAus and hopefully meeting Dr John La Salle, the creator of the Atlas of Living Australia, a project I speak about briefly in this post! Last but not least, my friend Janene from Scientists in Schools*** will be there to catch up with :). I’m quite excited!
Only one month to go! Who else is coming****? Please let me know – I look forward to meeting you.
*A controversial term but I’m going with it! Maybe that’s a blog post for another day ;).
**anecdotes, not evidence, but look here for evidence.
***I used to be a Project Officer for this program, operated by CSIRO Education.
****I enjoy the footnotes in Terry Pratchett’s books, too. Don’t you? He’s so clever. I wish he was coming to the event, but I doubt it.