For this month’s SciComm challenge, share a lesser-known example of a science communication, public engagement or knowledge production activity from your local, indigenous or cultural surroundings! (Earn a reward and a SciComm Historian badge for participating!)
What’s the furthest back example of science communication that you can think of? Maybe you can think of something further back than a few decades or centuries ago. However, if you can’t, you’re not alone. Because most modern accounts of science communication have been written by Western Europe and English-speaking countries, many people believe that science communication as an academic discipline or as a practice started not that long ago .
As simple as it sounds, people have been communicating and sharing information for a long time – including information about nature and science! Therefore, science communication has been around for longer than many of us think about!
You can learn about various historical examples of science communication, such as storytelling of Arboriginal people of Australia or the Griots of West Africa, in our newest Lifeology University SciComm course: An Inclusive History of Science Communication. This course was written by Siddharth Kankaria and reviewed by SciComm scholars and historians Dr. Marina Joubert and Dr. Bruce Lewenstein! It features the entrancing comic-style visuals of Argha Manna.
History teaches us that there is a wide variety of approaches to science communication informed by various ‘science communication’ efforts that have taken place across time and continents. The quicker we acknowledge this fact, the quicker we can work towards more inclusive and less western-centric applications of science communication. More voices, ideas and opinions are key to better science communication!
We want to compile a small database of more multicultural examples, case studies and stories of science being communicated throughout history! We need your help for doing this—please send us lesser-known examples of historical or contemporary SciComm activities, formats and stories from your own culture, community or country! Perhaps you have an example of historical or pioneering science communication that has informed your own approach or practice to communicating science. Maybe it represents your unique field of science or your ancestors!
To learn more about multicultural historical instances of science communication, check out this month’s new Lifeology University SciComm Uni course: An Inclusive History of Science Communication. If you view the course and complete the activity at the end, you can earn a SciComm Historian badge created by Lifeology co-founder Doryan Algarra.
For this month’s SciComm challenge, share a lesser-known example of any historical or contemporary SciComm activity, format or story from your own culture, community or country. Tell us about this example of SciComm activity in some detail or tell us its story. Who performed this SciComm activity? Who was the target audience? What form or format was used? What type of scientific or natural knowledge was communicated – and what was the impact? Are there or were there any deeper cultural or historical contexts surrounding this SciComm activity and its format, platform, style or approaches? How has this SciComm activity informed your own work, or impacted or motivated you?
What lesser-known historical examples of science communication do you know about? Tell us about them so that we can share them! Multiple submissions accepted – 500 word limit for each submission. Email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will include all the submissions in a roundup blog post. Submissions may also be featured in a PSCT webinar and presented by the authors of the Inclusive History of Science Communication Lifeology course!
- A visual SciComm Badge to display on your website, Lifeology profile or social media!
- A letter of appreciation for your submission from the Lifeology team.
- A chance to win a visual depiction of your submitted example of SciComm!
The entries will be judged based on the following:
- Description and novelty of the SciComm example
- Incorporation of local cultural contexts
- Foregrounding of diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility themes
- Anti-racist science communication starts with recognising its globally diverse historical footprint
- Strategies for including communication of non-Western and indigenous knowledges in science communication histories
- A historical kaleidoscope of public communication of science and technology
- From the margins to the mainstream: deconstructing science communication as a white, Western paradigm