One of NESSE’s newest affiliated Sustainable Science Groups, greenSTEMS, got some great news today! Despite being only two months old, the greenSTEMS team has been awarded £2000 from the Royal Society of Chemistry Outreach Fund for an innovative training and outreach proposal.
GreenSTEMS is a new sustainable science group at the University of York (UK) building an interdisciplinary platform where early-career scientists—from STEM fields as well as social sciences—can share resources and connections with the common aim of achieving sustainability. The University of York is rich with research groups and centres exploring different aspects of sustainability. However, more opportunities to enable effective collaborations and develop researchers with understanding of the interconnected challenges might inspire more innovative and comprehensive solutions. GreenSTEMS aims to bridge this gap.
The winning project developed by the greenSTEMS team is called Green Reactions and will run throughout the upcoming academic year in collaboration with experts in science communication and public perception of technology.This initiative will bring together York scientists and the general public in a face-to-face dialogue about awareness and perception of green technologies being developed at the University of York.
It is vital that early-career scientists learn how to engage in a dialogue with the public and to address potentially unexpected questions and concerns in a timely and confident fashion. Genetically modified organisms, carbon capture and storage, wind farms and nuclear power are all examples of technologies that have received public hostility, at least in part because of poor communication of the risks and benefits involved by the technical and scientific community to the general public.
By providing professional public communication training to 15 early-career researchers in sustainable science fields and organising themed public dialogues, this project aspires to build local public trust in scientists and sustainable technologies as well as to empower young researchers to effectively communicate their research.