CERN Colloquium

What works and why? The 'Physics' of evidence-based science communication

by Prof. Alexander Gerber, Dr Eric Jensen

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium (CERN)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium


Show room on map

Fundamental concerns about the effectiveness of science communication are being fuelled by ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’. Simply pumping up the volume of science advocacy and marketing, has failed as a solution, and is even being increasingly suspected of being counter-productive. Hence how can empirical and theoretical evidence from social sciences best inform the practice? From informal science education to knowledge transfer, and from outreach to science diplomacy, what are the methods and tools to answer to the question “what works and why”? How can we robustly evaluate the “value” of our endeavours and thus maximise their impact?

Professor Alexander Gerber has been Chair of Science Communication at Germany’s first fully international public university for five years, and Research Director at the Institute for Science & Innovation Communication (inscico) since 2010. He is an elected member of the science communication world association PCST, and counts as a thought-leader in the field. At the moment, his department co-ordinates eight different work packages in EU-funded projects, which all focus on the interfaces between scholarship and practice.

Dr. Eric Jensen is considered one of the world’s most renowned experts on Impact Evaluation in informal learning and public engagement contexts. He is the author of the influential textbook “Doing Real Research” (2016), Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick (UK), founder of the Institute of Methods Innovation (IMI) and a Senior Research Fellow at inscico. Through the EU-funded project “PERFORM”, Dr. Jensen contributed to a better understanding of the value of participatory performance-based methods of engaging young people with science.

Jensen and Gerber have been collaborating closely in a number of different research projects. Together, they are discussing both general concepts and specific opportunities for CERN to develop its impact assessment and evidence-base for science communication further.

Organized by

W. Lerche/TH-SP and James Gillies/IR-SPE........ Tea and coffee will be served at 16h00

There is a live webcast for this event