By: Peter Linett

July 08, 2014

This report presents the findings of a two-day invitational workshop held at MIT on September 23–24, 2013 as part of the Evolving Culture of Science Engagement Initiative, an ongoing collaboration between a new nonprofit organization, Culture Kettle, and several MIT departments led by the Program in Science, Technology & Society and the MIT Museum. The initiative explores a new wave of public science engagement activity that appears to be dissolving the once-bright line between science and popular culture. Its goals are to:

  • Generate greater understanding of how science engagement is changing in contemporary society; 
  • Analyze and compare the operating assumptions, strategies, and sensibilities of some of the most innovative science engagement programs across settings and media; 
  • On the basis of that new understanding and analysis, explore what the science engagement field can do to extend and diversify the public connection with science; 
  • Identify gaps in our knowledge about the landscape of public science experiences and develop a research and experimentation agenda aimed at generating useful insights and advancing science engagement in contemporary culture; 
  • Create a new, multidisciplinary network of science engagement practitioners and researchers from professional communities that do not usually collaborate; 
  • Inform the work of specific science engagement and research initiatives underway in the US and elsewhere.

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