National Academies Press: OpenBook

Communicating Chemistry: A Framework for Sharing Science: A Practical Evidence-Based Guide (2016)

Chapter: ELEMENT 5: Assess, reflect, and follow up.

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Suggested Citation:"ELEMENT 5: Assess, reflect, and follow up.." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Communicating Chemistry: A Framework for Sharing Science: A Practical Evidence-Based Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23444.
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ELEMENT 5

Assess, reflect, and follow up.

The framework for public communication in chemistry is an iterative process. Plan time to assess, reflect on, and follow up on your event to improve your ability to develop future events that will be effective and meaningful for you and for participants. You might ask these questions: (1) Have I achieved my intended goals and outcomes? (2) How can I apply what I learned during my communication experience to the next time?

Your presentation on fertilizer use and impacts is over. You could ask yourself these questions: Did the evaluation sufficiently determine whether you achieved your goal of increasing awareness of the chemistry of fertilizers and their role in the home and agriculture? What happened during the presentation that might inform how it was received or how you might refine it going forward? For example, did participants ask questions that indicated they understood the chemical concepts? How did the demonstration go? Will you modify or eliminate it in the future? Do you have any indications of whether you were viewed as a trusted, neutral source of information? And finally, what did you gain from the event?

Suggested Citation:"ELEMENT 5: Assess, reflect, and follow up.." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Communicating Chemistry: A Framework for Sharing Science: A Practical Evidence-Based Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23444.
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A growing body of evidence indicates that, increasingly, the public is engaging with science in a wide range of informal environments, which can be any setting outside of school such as community-based programs, festivals, libraries, or home. Yet undergraduate and graduate schools often don’t prepare scientists for public communication.

This practical guide is intended for any chemist – that is, any professional who works in chemistry-related activities, whether research, manufacturing or policy – who wishes to improve their informal communications with the public. At the heart of this guide is a framework, which was presented in the report Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments and is based on the best available empirical evidence from the research literature on informal learning, science communication, and chemistry education. The framework consists of five elements which can be applied broadly to any science communication event in an informal setting.

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