The ‘Ambassador Model’ in science communication

I’m taking a bit of leap here, as my colleagues in Leiden are much bigger experts on science communication than I am. I mean they do research on science communication while I just communicate about science. Still I thought this study to be pretty interesting and relevant. The study shows that building relationships between scientists and communities that are founded on shared values, does work.

An excerpt from the press release:

Bring science to people where they are. That’s the driving philosophy that propels U biology professor Nalini Nadkarni to stretch the possibilities of science communication and bring the beauty of science to people and places that others have overlooked.

Building public trust in science is about more than just providing information and improving science literacy, she says. It’s about building relationships between scientists and communities that are founded on shared values. It’s called the “Ambassador Model”, and Nadkarni now has the data to say that the approach works, at relatively low cost and with high effectiveness.

In two recent studies, one published today in BioScience and another published in 2018 in Science CommunicationNadkarni and her colleagues present evidence-based conclusions about the effectiveness of science engagement in two programs: The INSPIRE program, which brings science lectures to prisons, and the STEM Ambassador Program, which trains scientists to engage members of the public in discussions about science.

“Our goal is to help people realize that all citizens are interested in, capable of understanding and full of wonder at science, if it is presented in places and ways that are accessible to them,” Nadkarni says.

*DO NOTE: I was only able to read the 2018 study as the 2019 isn’t accessible yet.

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