The upcoming QUEST toolkits will help scientists, journalists, museum facilitators and social media managers communicate about science more effectively.
The research conducted during the QUEST project has confirmed that there is a need to support key science communication stakeholders and help them develop skills at different levels. Our analysis shows that additional tools could support science communication by scientists, enhance interaction between scientists and media/communication officers, improve the understanding of science of (generalist) journalists, and help museum facilitators take a more inclusive perspective.
In order to meet these needs, Venice International University as Task Leader is coordinating the development of four toolkits for the different stakeholders: scientists, journalists, museum facilitators and social media managers. Following the QUEST key methodological strategy, these stakeholders have been directly engaged in the co-design of the contents of the toolkits. Through interviews, workshops, focus groups and surveys, scientists, journalists, museum facilitators and social media content managers have helped us to identify their specific challenges, gaps to fill in their skillsets, and possible solutions.
The results of this co-design process will be included in the four toolkits that comprise a set of tools developed as part of QUEST. The tools build on the already developed quality indicators for science communication, and include the JECT.AI tool that supports journalists writing about science, a handbook for museum facilitators about writing academic papers, and best practice guidebook for social media. Key tips for scientists and the different media will also be provided as well as PowerPoint presentations that can support both science communication trainers and stakeholders in improving their skills. Moreover, a series of podcast episodes is also under development as an additional way for our audience to engage with our findings.
The work is underway, and the toolkits will be ready by May 2021. Stay tuned!