Empar Vengut Climent / ScienceFlows researcher, Isabel Mendoza Poudereux, has attended the annual meeting of the Society of Experimental Biology (SEB), held in Seville during the 2-5 of July. Her presentation “How does the public build their opinions and beliefs related to scientific issues?” has made it possible to bring attendees the H2020 CONCISE project, led by our research group.
This meeting is one of the most important international events in the area of biology. For four days, around 800 scientists from all over the world have gathered at the Conference and Exhibition Centre, FIBES II, to present their work, make contacts and share experiences.
This year, the event had a section dedicated to the integration of communication and literacy at work in biology education (SEB + 2, Integrating communication and work literacies into biology education), which dealt with such diverse and interesting topics as the use of online tools to assess the difficulty of the vocabulary used in dissemination articles intended for the general public and the specific scientific writing for teachers of the subject, a topic of which there was even a workshop.
In this interdisciplinary context, this biology society has been advocating for years for the promotion of relationships between different professionals and for highlighting the relevance of scientific communication, in which the researcher Isabel Mendoza presented the CONCISE project.
— Concise European Project (@ConciseEU) July 2, 2019
This project seeks to understand how the gap between scientific consensus and popular beliefs originates, in order to propose mitigation measures that help improve scientific communication and political decision making related to scientific issues. In addition, CONCISE will help us understand how citizens perceive scientific communication, make decisions on topics related to science (such as vaccination) and what are the main channels through which scientific information is accessed.
For this, researchers from the different participating entities will carry out public citizen consultations in five European countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland and Slovakia), where the opinions of 500 volunteers, representative of the population of each country, will be recorded. The consultations will be transcribed and analysed with a corpus linguistic software to identify different markers that will help the research staff in scientific communication, the political and scientific class, the science journalists and the general public, to communicate in a more direct and efficient way, and thus avoid erroneous discourses that generate distrust and misunderstandings. Although the CONCISE project focuses on four current scientific topics: vaccines, the use of complementary and alternative medicines, climate change and genetically modified organisms; its results will be scalable and its methodology can be applied to other scientific topics, as well as to other non-participating European countries to promote and improve, both qualitatively and quantitatively, scientific communication throughout Europe.