All our public deliverables and data will be made available on the QUEST Research Data Repository, available at rs.unive.it.
Work packages and deliverables
- WP1 – Investigating science community today: understanding contemporary practices in public communication
- WP2 – Measuring and assessing science communication quality
- WP3 – Developing and experimenting with science communication innovations
- WP4 – Building capacities and incentives for science communication
- WP5 – Communication, dissemination and stakeholder engagement
- WP6 – Management
- WP7 – Ethics requirements
WP1 – Investigating science community today: understanding contemporary practices in public communication
Objectives: To understand the state of the art in the theory and practice of science communication in contemporary Europe.
Summary report: European Science Communication today
Through interviews, literature reviews, quantitative social media analysis, and ethnography, the QUEST partner Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) led a comprehensive study into science communication in Europe. The research assessed the landscape of science communication research, science journalism, science on social media and science in museums.
The study concluded that science communication is a landscape in transition, that it needs to embrace a critical, dialogic approach and that format matter – science communication needs to adapt based on the used medium. You can read more about the research findings in this blog post. To download the full deliverable, click below.
WP2 – Measuring and assessing science communication quality
Objectives: Provide Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measuring and assessing quality of science communication in general and in journalism, social media and museums, and guidelines to support better science communication.
12 Quality Indicators for Science Communication: Guide for Science Communicators
To develop a framework for assessing quality in science communication, QUEST held six workshops in five European countries, each bringing together a range of science communication stakeholders – researchers, journalists, science communication professionals, and members of the public. Collectively, the participants mapped what they consider quality in science communication, and we distilled the result into 12 quality indicators.
You can read more about our findings here, and download the booklet “12 Quality Indicators for Science Communication: Guide for Science Communicators” below.
WP3 – Developing and experimenting with science communication innovations
Objectives: The objective of this work package is to develop new and extend existing digital technologies to understand science communication with social media, and to support journalists to communicate science accurately and effectively.
JECT.AI – digital support tool for science journalism
QUEST research has resulted in the development of new digital INQUEST capabilities to support journalists writing about stories with scientific content. These capabilities include automated discovery of new scientific and news information from less common sources, different science audience personas for disengaged segments of the public, and interactive science communication metaphors to use in storytelling. These INQUEST features have now been integrated into a software product called JECT.AI – a new tool for journalists and editors.
Read more about the tool here.
Recommendations for science communication on social media
There is no shortage of tips and hints on how to use social media. What separates the QUEST social media recommendations from the others is that our resource was created in close collaboration with social media professionals communicating about science. They also tested the guidelines in practice, with positive results.
Our analysis of over two million social media posts across seven countries revealed patterns that science communicators can use to build up stronger user engagement on social networks.
Building on the three pillars of quality science communication – trustworthiness and scientific rigour; presentation and style; connection with the society – our guidelines offer a wide range of tips and recommendations for science communication professionals to strengthen their social media presence.
Read more about our recommendations in this blog post. You can download the full recommendations below.
Handbook: Academic Writing for Museum Communicators
The QUEST Academic Writing Handbook for Museum Communicators takes an innovative approach to enhancing science communication in museums by addressing the skill of academic writing from the perspective of museum professionals. It is the result of an exploration into how to set up an academic writing group in a science museum or science centre. While taking part in a co-creative design process, a team of professional science communicators were assisted in developing their writing skills and directly involved in assessing the practicalities of establishing and sustaining a writing group.
WP4 – Building capacities and incentives for science communication
Objectives: This work package aims at building capacities and identifying incentives for science communication for different key actors, from scientists, to journalists, to public information officers.
Science communication education and training across Europe
There is a broad range of science communication training opportunities around Europe, but an up-to-date mapping of the available courses has not existed – until now. The QUEST partner Ca’ Foscari University of Venice has charted science communication education and training courses in Europe, taking into account the the level of teaching, its target and purpose, and its focus. The research found 115 courses in 18 European countries. You can read more about the results in this blog post and explore the interactive map here. To download the full deliverable, click below.
Curriculum on science journalism
Science journalism students are taking up their studies at a time when objective and independent journalism itself is under increasing pressure, particularly in the mainstream media. Dwindling revenues for legacy media mean news corporations and publications are less likely to employ science specialists, while elements of the powerful and unaccountable social media publish misinformation based on fake or discredited science.
It is in this challenging context that the next generation of science journalists face a particular need to develop skills to engage audiences and encourage science literacy. Our curriculum aims to redress the balance and offer a complementary route to effective, journalistically focussed science communication.
Read more about the curriculum in this blog post. You can download the full curriculum below.
WP5 – Communication, dissemination and stakeholder engagement
- To develop a dissemination and communication plan for the project and streamline the project’s communication activities;
- To maximise the project’s impact ensuring the visibility of the project activities to the relevant communities;
- To increase the communication of science results in quality and quantity through dissemination of project’s findings;
- To engage directly with stakeholders, including citizens, in order to harvest relevant knowledge to be fed back into the research work; to test the QUEST prototype; and to understand how results from research and scientific methodologies are perceived by citizens.
- To contribute in improving the quality and effectiveness of interactions between scientists, general media and the public through targeted stakeholder engagement and validation events;
- To build and strengthen the science communication community.
Guidelines for QUEST stakeholder engagement approach
The primary purpose of this document is to support the project team of QUEST for the creation of events with a participative component, however the final document provides guidance and inputs that are useful also more broadly for anyone developing stakeholder engagement activities, inside and outside QUEST. Its objective is to help bringing, within traditional research practice, tools, the implementation of more participative and open research approaches, offering guidelines and approaches that are grounded in practice and backed by research, so as to create some preconditions to the successful creation of participative events. The intention is to allow partners to use the mutual learning events as opportunities for co-creation of new knowledge, considering the planning of these engagement opportunities in their full potential.
WP6 – Management
Objectives: The QUEST management work package will provide a clear organizational framework and:
- ensure the project reaches its objectives;
- ensure that the project progresses in conformity with the work plan in terms of milestones, deliverables, and planned resources and make any necessary contractual amendments;
- carry out partner’s payments;
- schedule and organize the project’s internal communication and consortia meetings to ensure good internal WP coordination;
- applying the procedures needed to ensure quality and conformity to EC reporting and the Consortium agreement:
- Provide scientific and administrative coordination (i.e., grant issues, financial issues, legal issues, reporting).
- The QUEST Research Data Repository is available at rs.unive.it.
WP7 – Ethics requirements
Objectives: The objective is to ensure compliance with the ‘ethics requirements’ set out in this work package.