AAAS 2018- Community Science: Strengthening Community Capacity to Use Science Effectively

Session Description

From local water supplies to international nuclear regulation, our civilization uses science to solve problems in areas as diverse as public health and economic growth. Making good use of science depends not only on having scientific experts, but also on the ability of scientists to collaborate effectively with communities, and citizens to understand and capitalize on the scientific insights. From community-based research to service learning, community science encompasses the growing set of strategies for scientists, educators, and communities use to work together to learn science, do science, and solve problems. This session explores strategies for increasing the collective capacity of communities to make effective use of science through education, skill development and participatory research. Speakers will address strategies for strengthening scientific literacy within communities, for increasing local scientific expertise, and for justly engaging scientists and communities together in research. Discussion will focus on lessons learned from model programs and strategies for scaling-up community science activities within and beyond the United States.

Collective Science Literacy: A key to community science capacity

Noah Weeth Feinstein, University of Wisconsin Madison

Collective science literacy (CSL) arises when people share knowledge and resources to solve science-related personal and social problems, achieving more together than they could separately. This talk (1) reviews the evidence for CSL; (2) identifies a critical knowledge gap concerning the development/activation of CSL; and (3) uses theory and practice to show how science museums might play a key role by convening scientific and public groups in iterative knowledge- and decision-making cycles.
Download Presentation (Acrobat (PDF) 12.3MB Feb28 18)

Advancing Community Science: Scaling Impact

Rajul Pandya, American Geophysical Union

The AGU Thriving Earth Exchange helps communities and scientists collaborate to use science to address local priorities. Our Denver project helped low-income neighborhoods reduce exposure to air pollution while an Afghanistan project integrated climate science into traditional farming practice. To date TEX has launched over 40 projects that enhance community capacity to use science and connect science to society. We will share lessons learned about supporting and scaling community science.
Download Presentation (Acrobat (PDF) 9.6MB Feb28 18)

Cultivating science-based change agency

Sarah Fortner, Wittenberg University

Students at Wittenberg University engage in community service through courses that address local issues. Geology and environmental science courses are designed in collaboration with community partners, alumni, and campus facilities managers to improving community health. 20 to 25 local partners have been engaged in this work through which they improve decision making and raise awareness. Students graduate with experience, professional connections, and a desire to serve their communities.
Download Presentation (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 59.9MB Feb28 18)