Science Communication for the 21st Century
Melanie Smallman is a Lecturer in Science and Technology Studies at UCL, London and is founder and Director of the Science Communications Consultancy Think-Lab. Her research looks at how the public form views around new and emerging science and technology and how these views influence public policy. She is also developing new research around the role of science and technology in increasing economic inequality and how this affects perceptions of science and technology and what alternative innovation models are available for more inclusive growth.
Prior to joining UCL, Melanie worked as a science communication practitioner for more than 20 years, for a range of organisations including London’s Science Museum, The Wellcome Trust and most recently the Chief Scientific Adviser in the UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Melanie continues to combine practice with research and teaching, is a member of UCL’s Climate Change Communications Commission and has recently advised the UK Parliament on science communication.
For more information please visit her University page here.
Science communication and public engagement have been emerging professions and practices for the past 20 years. But from the rise of social media and post-truth to the urgency of climate change and biodiversity loss, the issues we deal with are becoming increasingly urgent and socially relevant. So how will we respond and how will our roles, practices and cultures need to change? In this talk, I will reflect on these questions, arguing that science communication is poised to play a key role in the most pressing issues facing humanity, but rather than providing more information and promoting expertise, we need to take a more critical view of science and technology.