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Exploring and strengthening our impact related to climate and biodiversity

16.06.2023 | 14:15 - 15:30

Friday 16 Jun 2023

Republic Hall

Republic Hall
Science ♥ society

Although the informal science community has years of experience developing and evaluating our STEM communication efforts, the ongoing climate and biodiversity crises mean the stakes are higher than ever. Our work needs to be impactful and we often hope to change visitors’ awareness and behaviour concerning these global issues. But how do we do that? And how would we know if we have made progress towards these aims? In this session we will discuss different approaches to these challenges. A centre for sustainability presents their programme for strengthening biodiversity awareness among the public. A science centre and the Surrounded by Science project describe how they cooperate in developing and evaluating their communication around biodiversity and climate change. Science communication researchers consider how we can approach measuring impact in this context and reflect on the range of outcomes our work might have.

Outcomes: what will participants get from this session? Skills, knowledge, experience etc.

Participants will:

  • Learn about practical tools to help them develop programmes and exhibitions that aim to change visitors’ awareness and behaviour related to climate and biodiversity issues
  • Hear about real-life experiences of addressing these issues
  • Gain insight into how to evaluate activities around changing awareness and behaviour


Head of Development

Session speakers

Senior Research Fellow
IOE (UCL's Faculty of Education & Society)
United Kingdom
As an academic researcher and also an evaluation consultant, I often consider the ways in which experiences such as exhibitions and programmes might be more effective in encouraging action, as well as the factors that also mediate such impacts. In this session, I will reflect upon these factors and discuss how they might be accounted for in the development and evaluation of activities related to climate change and biodiversity.
Assistant professor informal science education
Leiden University
As an assistant professor in science communication at Leiden University, I have focused on research concerning learning in science museums as well as measuring the impact of science communication activities in general. Although it is very complex to try to change visitors' behaviour after just one visit, we can look at changes in their awareness, understanding of the issue and intent to contribute to a solution. In this session, I will provide examples and tools to examine how museum visits can trigger these preconditions for behaviour change.
Educator/Ecologist/Project manager
As an ecologist I have spent the past ten years bridging the gap between the modern humans lifestyle and nature, specialising in human-wildlife conflict and large predator ecology. In this session I will, together with Surrounded by Science, present the results of our efforts to gauge the effects of digital teaching activities on Norwegian children’s perception of large predators as well as its effect on mitigating fear of those same animals.
Assitant Professor in the Learning Sciences
University of Twente
We present the Science Chaser, an app that monitors visitors’ science proficiency during and after interaction with informal science activities. The app offers science centers a digital toolbox for monitoring outcomes and facilitating interaction with visitors after the visit or activity. Centers can share information through the app, and invite visitors to report their own actions through a gamified report feature. Data collected through the Science Chaser provides insight in the direct outcomes of an activity and the impact of the activity beyond the actual visit.
Pernille Kjølholt, Director Økolariet
In this session I will focus on methods and approaches to 'changing the world' through the educational programs and exhibition developments of the experience centre: Økolariet. I will highlight the challenges and success in creating an impact through behavioural design thinking in our exhibitions and education. I will furthermore address the challenges working with a term 'sustainability' which is not a physical object nor a history to tell. Through evaluation, observation, and co-creating we engage, create ownership and knowledge-based experiences that impact to act towards a more sustainable world and mindset.

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