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Session programme


EOS – Education and Outreach Sessions

Programme group chairs: Mioara Mandea, Chris King (deceased)

EOS4 – Communication and outreach


Do you consider yourself a science communicator? Does your research group or institution participate in public engagement activities? Have you ever evaluated or published your education and outreach efforts?

Scientists communicate to non-peer audiences through numerous pathways including websites, blogs, public lectures, media interviews, and educational collaborations. A considerable amount of time and money is invested in this public engagement and these efforts are to a large extent responsible for the public perception of science. However, few incentives exist for researchers to optimize their communication practices to ensure effective outreach. This session encourages critical reflection on science communication practices and provides an opportunity for science communicators to share best practice and experiences with evaluation and research in this field.

Convener: Sam Illingworth | Co-conveners: Maria Loroño Leturiondo, Heidi Roop, Mathew Stiller-Reeve
| Thu, 11 Apr, 08:30–12:30, 14:00–18:00
Room L7
| Attendance Fri, 12 Apr, 08:30–10:15
Hall X4

If you look up the definition of outreach you are likely to find something along the lines of “an effort made by an organisation or group to connect its ideas or practices to other groups, specific audiences to the general public”. Much has been made of outreach taking an educational component, or moving towards a more two-way street in which outreach is considered as engagement rather than solely dissemination or teaching.
Research on successful outreach suggests that it will be more effective if the people you are targeting can see the relevance to themselves, and that narrower outreach targets are more effective than all-encompassing groups: If we try to create a message that speaks to everyone we will reach no one. But if we take one step back – what do we, as those trying to develop outreach activities, or respond to the compulsory aspect of outreach activities within our funded research, see as “outreach”?
For example, a scientist working on research that has an outreach component as part of the funding – do they see it the same way as museums arranging public talks or lecture series? Do science communicators see it the same way as those engaged with stakeholders? Has the term “Outreach” become representative of so many different activities that we no longer have a common dictionary or understanding of what we are trying to achieve within geoscience? Can we comfortably continue to sit in the middle ground between science policy (working with stakeholders), science education (designing classroom activities and games) and science communication (press releases and social media activities)?
In this session we would like to explore the definition of outreach and what it means to you, and so put outreach into context as an integral part of the research process. The convenors also want to address how we continue disseminating geoscience activities from international scientific programs such as IODP and ICDP.

Convener: Carol Cotterill | Co-conveners: Vivien Cumming, Christian Koeberl, Ulrike Prange, Thomas Wiersberg
| Attendance Thu, 11 Apr, 14:00–15:45
Hall X4

The geosciences will play a major role in addressing some of the fundamental societal and economic challenges of the 21st Century. Delivering on this responsibility requires specialists from industry, academia and government to work together to effectively engage with various public stakeholder audiences. Recent examples of communication around high-profile contested geoscience industries have highlighted the need to engage with diverse public audiences early and openly, but this is often easier said than done. To ensure effective communication, and so to enable progress, geoscientists need to learn how to recast their knowledge into a citizen context.
This session will explore the challenges of communicating the controversial, high-profile and often increasingly politicised geoscience topics that are being discussed across Europe and the rest of the world, critique current practice and propose new strategies for public engagement in contested geoscience. We invite participants from across all sectors, including industry, government and social science, to submit abstracts on the communication of new and controversial geological topics; including geothermal heat or power, carbon capture and storage, geological energy storage, oil and gas extraction, radioactive waste disposal and mineral resource extraction. We are particularly interested in case studies and narratives that examine issues of risk perception, trust, the role of experts, participatory engagement, the concept of the social license to operate, public-led science and the co-creation of communications.

Those interested in submitting to this session might also be interested in the short course SC2.8: Science communication on hard mode: risk, uncertainty, disasters and controversies: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2019/session/30897

Convener: Hazel Gibson | Co-conveners: Anthea Lacchia, Laura Roberts Artal, Jen Roberts
| Attendance Thu, 11 Apr, 10:45–12:30
Hall X4
ITS3.3/NH9.18/EOS4.4/HS11.20 | PICO Media

Natural hazards and the associated risk are in some cases a major hindrance to economic and social growth in economically developing countries. This is particularly evident for urban areas, since rapid and uncontrolled urbanization in hazard-prone regions may result in a significant increase in risk due to insufficient spatial planning, which sometimes does not correctly consider (if at all) the impact of natural hazards, and to inadequate building practices. This session will profile the challenges faced in the developing world when doing assessments of natural hazard and risk and designing mitigation strategies. Examples of these challenges include (i) a frequent lack of data, along with difficulties in collecting it, (ii) rapid and often unplanned urban development, with building practices often neglecting the potential hazards, (iii) less regulated nature-human interactions, (iv) limited resources and capacity to undertake the most appropriate prevention and mitigation actions and to actually respond to disastrous and extreme events, (v) climate change, and (vi) difficulties in communication between science, policy and decision makers, and the general public.
Submissions to this PICO session covering all relevant topics are welcome, including but not limited to: database and archive construction; modeling, monitoring and tools for natural hazard and risk assessment; conceptual understanding of multi-hazards and nature-technology interactions; response and mitigation strategies; and communications, policy and decision-making. We particularly welcome abstracts focusing on urban areas, as well as the participation of stakeholders to share their innovative theoretical and practical ideas and success stories of how risk can be understood and addressed across economically developing countries.

Co-organized as NH9.18/EOS4.4/HS11.20
Convener: Faith Taylor | Co-conveners: Olivier Dewitte, Joel Gill, Andreas Günther, Bruce D. Malamud
| Fri, 12 Apr, 14:00–15:45
PICO spot 4