When: Tuesday 13th November, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Where: Theatre, Level 2 down the stairs to the right of the registration/foyer area
Over the last 20 years, scholars and policymakers have called for science communication to move beyond linear engagement to participatory engagement, especially with publically contested science. However, there has been little scholarly reflection on long-term participatory science communication practice. My study compared the theorised science communication models with a seven-year case study: the Australian Climate Champion Program, where scientists and farmers jointly addressed the problem of climate risk. I investigated scientists and farmers’ objectives for participating, the nature of their interactions, and the relationships between them. I analysed how they valued different sources of knowledge and acknowledged risk. Respectful, open and trusting relationships developed between most of the farmers and scientists participating in the program resulting in upstream engagement and co-learning. This case study demonstrates that a long-term participatory program can enhance co-existing linear forms of communication (deficit and dialogue) to help achieve participatory outcomes.
Jennifer Metcalfe, Director, Econnect Communication