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Hacking our science engagement jargon

XXI century skills, co-creation, science communication… there are certain terms, concepts and buzzwords in science engagement vocabulary that are repeated in all aspects of our world. Are you tired of this jargon? You are not alone! Our speakers have also had enough. This is why we want to give our least favourite terms one last chance… During this session our magnanimous speakers will discuss concepts that are pivotal to our field but that have often been misinterpreted, overused or have become meaningless. We’ll dismantle, investigate and design new, more appropriate words. The session will start with pitches from our speakers and move on to constructive discussion. Together we will decide whether we can fix them or create new ways of communicating them. Will the ideas be saved? You decide!



Session speakers

Events Manager
Everyone knows what XXI century skills are but try googling it. You will find several reports or curricula that define them differently. You will find long catalogues of skills, attitudes, competencies – all very valuable but hard to connect to each other and to communicate as a whole. This term sounds like a cure-all concept that will guide us towards future – but deep down it does not explain much. Especially we are 1/5 into XXI century and we should know what we should be doing by now. Let’s find new way of talking about them!
Anna Starkey, Chief Creative Officer  of We the Curious
Creative Director, Producer, Writer
United Kingdom
Science communication. A phrase born of a more knowledge deficit led, pre Google era. Yet we still use it all the time – and what residue does it leave us with? Is science communication really a specific working practice in contemporary culture, or should we be developing ourselves as a brilliant performer, writer, director, creative producer who brings science into their working practice? This gets to the heart of how we connect science as part of culture…are you ready to consider if science communication needs a reboot?
Frank Kupper
Associate Professor Science Communication & Public Engagement
No more games. In the past few years, science communication or engagement activities have become more and more playful. To make science fun, sexy, entertaining. But also to engage more easily in reflection and dialogue. All this playful harmony downplays the real and sometimes deep disagreements that are still there, hidden under the carpet. It's time to trash playfulness and get serious about conflict.
Carmen Fenollosa
Senior Project Manager
The last flavour of the month is clearly co-creation. Co-creation, co design, co-production, you name it, it’s all over the place. Same as in the case of XXI century skills, this concept seems to be capable of solving all of our problems, It’s too much weight to carry for a concept! Besides, it is often (ab)used and emptied of its meaning. The concept needs our help and we are coming to its rescue