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Science communication focus at EUPRIO Venice workshop

The vital role of science communication and engagement will dominant much of the agenda for EUPRIO in the year leading up its 2020 annual conference – which take place in Trieste, Italy, from 30 August to 2 September next year, writes Nic Mitchell

The first event planned is a one day panel discussion and workshop on ‘Train the scientist’ to be hosted by Ca’ Foscari University of Venice on Tuesday, 1 October, as part of the University’s Research Communication Week which is being held in collaboration with EUPRIO,  AICUN and the EU2020 QUEST project

EUPRIO President Jan Dries said: ”Training scientists in effective science communications and public engagement should be a high priority in all research universities. Close collaboration between the Communication Department and the Research Department is a often key factor to success.”

Irish academic and writer Brian Trench

The morning session is open to the public. Following a joint welcome from the University’s Rettore, Michele Bugliesi, and EUPRIO President Jan Dries, participants will hear a keynote address by the Dublin-based writer and academic Brian Trench, who has taken part in several EU-funded projects on science communications and is President of the Public Communication of Science and Technology network (PCST).

Range of experts 

A panel discussion will follow with an impressive range of experts, including Rebecca AsherDeputy director of Sense about Science; Gian-Andri Casutt, ETH-Board Zurich and EUPRIO Steering Committee Member; Anna Godinho, Leader, Education, communications and outreach group, CERN; Francesco FiondellaDirector of communications, IRI, Earth Institute, Columbia University; Nico PitrelliCodirector, Master’s course in Science Communication, SISSA, who will join Brian Trench on the platform.

The session will be moderated by Alessandra FornettiCoordinator, QUEST project, Venice International University (VIU).

In the afternoon, there will be a free workshop open only to members of EUPRIO and its Italian sister organisation for higher education communicators, AICUN.

Towards Trieste

This is entitled ‘Towards EUPRIO Conference Trieste 2020 on Science Communication’ and will look at good practice across Europe in training scientists in the art of effective science communications and public engagement.

Ludo Koks from Utrecht University

The session, to be chaired by Ludo Koks, public affairs advisor at Utrecht University, will include an overview of science communication education in Europe and preliminary results from the survey involving EUPRIO members presented by Roberta Villa from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Alexandra Cornea, Direction of Research in the department for European Projects, Université Côte d’Azur, and Uwe Steger, Director of Communications, University of Innsbruck, will then provide lessons and examples of good practices from European universities. This will be followed by an open discussion on challenges, trends and perspectives about media and communication training for scientists within European universities.

View from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

The final session will look at co-designing a social media communication toolkit. This will include a look at overcoming polarisation and misinformation: an overview of mass social dynamics online from Fabiana Zoll, from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and some practical co-design activity.

Communication specialists from Ca’ Foscari are also being invited to attend the workshops.

The deadline for reserving a place at the workshop, which is free for EUPRIO and AICUN members to attend, is 27 September.

EUPRIO and AICUN members should use their MyEUPRIO home page to register. Those not already EUPRIO members should request an account. People interested in joining EUPRIO can fill in their application form on the MyEUPRIO page. Look for info on Join us

If you need more details, contact EUPRIO’s development manager Paola Claudia Scioli on mobile +39 335 5725029 or email