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ESCW: the European Science Communication Workshops

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‘Marketing’ science

Breaking down science communication walls was the subject of the ESCW Specific Support Action (SSA). Through the organisation of workshops, partners expected to bridge the communication gaps between scientists and the public.

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Public perception about science is often misguided by myths and the lack of understanding of scientific issues. This phenomenon is exacerbated by the poor communication skills of scientists who lack the ability to ‘market’ science properly. The EU-funded project ‘The European science communication workshops’ (ESCW) aimed to improve the communication skills of scientists and to this end proposed to engage researchers involved in Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) projects in science communication workshops. By bringing together science communication teachers across Europe, ESCW focused the training of young researchers in communication with the media, policymakers and the general public. It built on the successful workshops of the European Network of Science Communication Teachers (ENSCOT), which was funded under the FP5. The European science communication network (ESCONET) constituted a European collaboration among scientists, science information officers, journalists and policymakers, providing a framework for building effective science communication training. The delivered workshops involved the participation of 17 higher education and science institutions, covering 12 countries eligible for the FP6 funding. Dissemination of ESCW activities was successfully performed through an international conference and continuation of the training workshops is expected to improve the ability of scientists to put across their findings to the general public.

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