Washington, DC, June 28, 2021. For immediate release

Newswise — To advance effective public communication of basic science, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science and The Kavli Foundation’s Science Public Engagement Partnership (SciPEP) will host a virtual conference on why and how scientists and science communicators connect with the broader public around discovery science.  Attendance for Communicating the Future: Engaging the Public in Basic Science is free of charge to interested basic scientists, communications scholars, and science communicators.

“We need to know a lot more about what motivates the broader, non-science public to engage around discovery research, the major piece of the funding portfolio for both the Office of Science and The Kavli Foundation,” said Rick Borchelt, director of communications and public affairs for the Office of Science.  “As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we are committed to finding the best ways to share the results of basic research with the public that funds us.”

While science communication is a growing field, most of the time and energy spent on science communication scholarship and practice is focused on policy-relevance or research with immediate applications or uses. Yet, organizations whose missions solely or primarily encompass basic science often struggle with identifying strategies that engage the public, even though the research they conduct is increasingly critical to innovation and scientific advances. The conference will explore the unique characteristics of the relationship between the public and basic scientific research, characteristics that may be much different from those experienced when communicating about applied science, technology, health, or education.

The conference will bring together the experience and knowledge of experts in the science and science-communication communities. The goal is to identify how scientists and communication professionals can work to engage the public with basic research as effectively as possible.

The conference program will be organized around questions and concepts that crosscut the complex relationship between the public and basic science. Sessions will explore communications scholarship, training, practices, evaluating the effectiveness of public engagement, and the role of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in public engagement.

For more information and to register for the conference, please visit the SciPEP web site or contact [email protected]