26 July 2023

Advances in discovery science (including basic, curiosity-driven, blue-sky or fundamental scientific research) make it possible to solve complex problems and provide the building blocks of new knowledge and innovation. While discovery science is crucial in shaping our future, some may perceive it as abstract and somewhat removed from society. And, occasionally, public audiences may question the funding of discovery science. Therefore, public engagement in discovery science demand specific strategies, and we need research evidence about the most effective ways to communicate about these topics with diverse audiences.

Public communication and engagement supporting discovery science will be the theme of an international symposium in South Africa planned for late 2024. The symposium will be hosted by Stellenbosch University, with support from The Kavli Foundation, and will be informed and shaped by the work already done by SciPEP.

This symposium will provide an inclusive platform where participants from around the world will be invited to present and debate current research and practice related to communication and engagement around discovery science. It will be open to researchers, policymakers, practitioners, educators, and trainers interested in creating new connections or forging novel pathways to link discovery science and society. We will announce the call for abstracts for this symposium early in 2024, and registration will open in June 2024. The event will be hosted on-site at Stellenbosch University in South Africa from 18–20 November 2024, with options for following the event online.

Please email Professor Marina Joubert (marinajoubert@sun.ac.za) if you would like to receive future updates about this event.