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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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EFFECTIVE

CHEMISTRY

COMMUNICATION

IN INFORMAL ENVIRONMENTS

Committee on Communicating Chemistry in Informal Settings

Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology

Division on Earth and Life Studies

Board on Science Education

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Image

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, DC

www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by Grant No. 1238273 from the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-37752-2
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-37752-8
Library of Congress Control Number: 2016946891
Digital Object Identifier: 10.17226/21790

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2016 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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COMMITTEE ON COMMUNICATING CHEMISTRY IN INFORMAL SETTINGS

Co-Chairs

MARK A. RATNER, NAS, Northwestern University

DAVID A. UCKO, Museums+more LLC

Members

LAWRENCE BELL, Museum of Science, Boston

DIANE BUNCE, The Catholic University of America

JULIA Y. CHAN, University of Texas at Dallas

LUIS ECHEGOYEN, University of Texas at El Paso

JOSEPH S. FRANCISCO, NAS, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

MARY M. KIRCHHOFF, American Chemical Society

BRUCE V. LEWENSTEIN, Cornell University

MICHAEL STIEFF, University of Illinois at Chicago

Academies Staff

KATHRYN J. HUGHES, Project Director, Senior Program Officer, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (until December 2016)

KEEGAN SAWYER, Project Director, Program Officer, Board on Life Sciences

CAMLY TRAN, Associate Program Officer, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology

NATALIE NIELSEN, Board Director, Board on Technology and Assessment (until January 2014)

TERESA FRYBERGER, Board Director, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology

HEIDI SCHWEINGRUBER, Board Director, Board on Science Education

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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BOARD ON CHEMICAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY

Co-Chairs

DAVID BEM, PPG Industries

DAVID WALT, NAE, Tufts University

Members

HÉCTOR D. ABRUÑA, Cornell University

JOEL C. BARRISH, Bristol-Myers Squibb

MARK A. BARTEAU, NAE, University of Michigan

JOAN BRENNECKE, NAE, University of Notre Dame

MICHELLE V. BUCHANAN, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

DAVID W. CHRISTIANSON, University of Pennsylvania

JENNIFER SINCLAIR CURTIS, University of California, Davis

RICHARD EISENBERG, NAS, University of Rochester

SAMUEL H. GELLMAN, NAS, University of Wisconsin–Madison

SHARON C. GLOTZER, NAS, University of Michigan

MIRIAM E. JOHN, Sandia National Laboratories (retired)

FRANCES S. LIGLER, NAE, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University

SANDER G. MILLS, Merck Research Laboratories (retired)

JOSEPH B. POWELL, Shell

PETER J. ROSSKY, NAS, Rice University

TIMOTHY SWAGER, NAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Academies Staff

TERESA FRYBERGER, Director

DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN, Senior Program Officer

CAMLY TRAN, Associate Program Officer

CLAIRE BALLWEG, Program Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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BOARD ON SCIENCE EDUCATION

Chair

ADAM GAMORAN, William T. Grant Foundation

Members

GEORGE BOGGS, Palomar College (emeritus)

MELANIE COOPER, Michigan State University

RODOLFO DIRZO, NAS, Stanford University

JACQUELYNNE ECCLES, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

JOSEPH FRANCISCO, NAS, Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

MARGARET A. HONEY, New York Hall of Science

MATTHEW KREHBIEL, Achieve, Inc.

MICHAEL LACH, University of Chicago Urban Education Institute

LYNN LIBEN, Pennsylvania State University

CATHY MANDUCA, Carleton College

JOHN MATHER, NAS, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

BRIAN REISER, Northwestern University

MARSHALL “MIKE” SMITH, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

ROBERTA TANNER, Loveland High School (retired)

SUZANNE WILSON, University of Connecticut

YU XIE, NAS, Princeton University

Academies Staff

HEIDI SCHWEINGRUBER, Director

KERRY BRENNER, Senior Program Officer

MARGARET HILTON, Senior Program Officer

KENNE DIBNER, Program Officer

AMY STEPHENS, Program Officer

MATTHEW LAMMERS, Program Coordinator

MIRIAM SCHEIBER, Program Assistant

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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Preface

The committee’s report seeks to enhance the effectiveness of public communication by chemists at activities that foster engagement and learning outside the classroom setting. We build on two trends: One is the interest shown by many chemists in sharing their knowledge and experience with the public through activities such as National Chemistry Week, science festivals, museum exhibits or events, science cafés, and online media. The second is the growing research on science communication, informal learning, and chemistry education. Much of that research has been synthesized in previous National Research Council reports, including Learning Science in Informal Environments, Discipline-Based Education Research, and How People Learn, as well as two Sackler Colloquia on The Science of Science Communication and the Chemical Sciences Roundtable’s Chemistry in Primetime and Online. For the first time, the experiences of these professional communities and the research bases that support their work have been integrated for the development of practical tools.

Chemistry plays critical roles in our daily lives, community issues, national policy, and global events. That everyday relevance presents opportunities for interaction with members of the public who may not be familiar with chemistry or chemical concepts. Evidence-based communication and engagement activities offer the potential to address the situation. For students, informal learning experiences can stimulate greater interest in chemistry, complementing and enhancing the subject as presented within the limitations of the classroom. For adults, such experiences may help them become more sophisticated about chemistry and its ubiquitous role in the world around us.

For the chemistry community, we hope that this report will provide insights for thinking about communication and engagement. It offers guidance based on evidence-based practices for strengthening the effectiveness of activities, such as placing greater focus on the needs and interests of the participants, both in planning and implementation.

For informal learning professionals and science communicators, we hope the report will provide insight from key research findings in the chemical education literature that may be transferable to addressing members of the public and may suggest directions for future research. In addition, this report may encourage more chemists and chemistry-related profes-

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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sionals to partner with science centers and similar organizations to develop and implement engaging chemistry experiences for children and for adults. Such collaborative efforts could be significantly enhanced by support from chemistry-based professional organizations and corporations.

Although this report focuses specifically on chemistry, the communication strategies could be applied more generally and serve as a model for other disciplines. We hope that professionals in those disciplines will recognize the value of applying effective practices of informal learning and science communication, and of partnering with organizations experienced in engaging with the public.

On behalf of the committee, we would like to thank all those who took the time to share their knowledge and expertise through participation in the meetings, the landscape study, and other data-gathering methods. Special thanks go to the committee members themselves and the Academies program staff who made this report possible.

Mark Ratner and David Ucko, Co-Chairs

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

James Bell, Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education

John Besley, Michigan State University

Donna Blackmond, Scripps University

Rick Borchelt, U.S. Department of Energy

Declan Fahy, Dublin City University

John Groves, Princeton University

Carlos Gutierrez, California State University, Los Angeles

Joseph Krajcik, Michigan State University

Tiffany Lohwater, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Stephen Palacios, Added Value Cheskin

Elsa Reichmanis, Georgia Institute of Technology

Nancy Songer, Drexel University

Lawrence Yeung, Rice University

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before the release. The review of this report was overseen

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21790.
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by May Berenbaum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Chemistry plays a critical role in daily life, impacting areas such as medicine and health, consumer products, energy production, the ecosystem, and many other areas. Communicating about chemistry in informal environments has the potential to raise public interest and understanding of chemistry around the world. However, the chemistry community lacks a cohesive, evidence-based guide for designing effective communication activities. This report is organized into two sections. Part A: The Evidence Base for Enhanced Communication summarizes evidence from communications, informal learning, and chemistry education on effective practices to communicate with and engage publics outside of the classroom; presents a framework for the design of chemistry communication activities; and identifies key areas for future research. Part B: Communicating Chemistry: A Framework for Sharing Science is a practical guide intended for any chemists to use in the design, implementation, and evaluation of their public communication efforts.

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