The speakers and other participants share an interest in studying connections within the global ecosystem. They do not all interpret biocomplexity in the same way, but they generally agree that the study of biocomplexity can enhance our understanding of our world. Research findings in biocomplexity are appropriate for conveying science to students and the general public because they often involve issues in the public sphere. The topic was chosen as a model for the workshop in the hope that it will be helpful to researchers in other fields striving toward the goals suggested in Criterion 2.
The products of the workshop are this summary and a Web site (http://dlesecommunity.carleton.edu/biocomplexity/) that contains links to currently funded biocomplexity projects, to Web resources that support biocomplexity research, and to tips on partnering, assessment, and dissemination. The site also has spaces for discussion groups and for posting available resources.
This summary is written for both principal investigators (who are commonly also educators) and educators (who many times do research) to give them a sense of important issues to consider in designing scientific education and outreach projects. The workshop addressed, and this summary presents, a wide array of ideas for investigators and educators who are considering how to respond to the challenges of Criterion 2. The ideas presented here are certainly not exhaustive of all possibilities for integrating research and education, but they should provide readers with a foundation for approaching the design and implementation of education components of research projects.
Many attendees at the Workshop on Integrating Education in Biocomplexity Research supported the idea of collaborating with others who have complementary expertise to create and run education and outreach projects. The idea behind such partnerships is that education would benefit in the same way that interdisciplinary scientific studies benefit from research collaboration. The goal of the partnerships would be a combination of the talents of principal investigators and educators to communicate the results of research more effectively to varied audiences (schoolchildren, museum visitors, science journalists [and their readers], policy-makers, and so on).