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Sci Conferences you shouldn't miss in 2015

These are next year's must-attend events about scientific communication

October 30, 2014

Science communication is increasingly essential in all kinds of situations – we’re seeing a good example now, regarding to the management of communication about the spread of Ebola.

With the growing need of science communication in a knowledge society in which we live, there is also an increasing number of events that enable professionals in science communication and science outreach to share experiences, their work and discuss trends. Among such events, conferences play a major role and therefore deserve our attention. Thus, I leave with you a list of interesting conferences that will take place in 2015.

1 – Conference Science in Society


Date: 1st and 2nd of October

Location: Chicago, EUA

This is an annual conference held since 2009 which aims to bring together academics to discuss issues concerning the role of science in society. This event has four key principles: be interdisciplinary, international, inclusive and interactive (through conducting sessions that alternate between a rigid format and an informal format). Participants can also count on some time dedicated to networking, something that has also been adopted in other conferences that appear in this list.

The conference’s main themes are the values ​​and politics of science; the social impacts and economics of science; knowledge systems and pedagogies of science. However, the  is special focus of the 2015 edition is on science education. It is a great opportunity for science educators to discuss the state of science education, its impact on students and society as well as the link between the educational system and its application in diverse social contexts.


2 –  SciCom PT


Date: to be announced

Location: Algarve, Portugal

In 2015 will be held the second edition of this Portuguese congress. This year it was focused on the communication of science to the development of local, regional, national and international contexts, especially in Portuguese-speaking communities [1].

The 2014 edition had world-renowned experts in the area of science communication, such as Bruce Lewenstein and Morgan Meyer. There, several speakers presented national and international projects of science communication. Some of them focused on the importance of the marketing in science and how it can enhance the public engagement; others were about non-formal science education through projects like AnoZer0 or Ciência 2.0. Art and science projects such as The conversation never took place were also interestingly presented. Science in the media was yet another theme addressed in the conference, where some projects were discussed, such as Ciência na Imprensa Regional Online, among others.


3 – Ecsite Conference


Date: 11th to 13th of June

Location: Trento, Italy

The 2015 edition of this conference is themed “Food for inquisitive minds”, focusing specifically on the topics of “food and energy, a global challenge”, in articulation with the theme of Expo Milan 2015 (“Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life “).

The Ecsite conference is the most important European event for professionals in museums and science centers. Thus, it focuses on a more specific type of science communication than the conferences listed above. It addresses the discussion or presentation of projects such as exhibition or hands-on activities and is special suited for establishing partnerships and discuss new ways and means to make science more accessible to the public in the context of museums and science centers.


4 – Science Communication Conference



Date: to be announced

Location: United Kingdom (lacking more precise information)

This is an annual conference organized by the British Science Association, in partnership with the Wellcome Trust. This event includes the presentation of projects, issues and trends in science communication, embracing a wide variety of topics ranging from the relationship between science and art, the relationship between theory and practice in science communication, or discussions about the future this area of ​​expertise. In this conference, one of the key points is, again, a space and time dedicated to networking, which sometimes takes the form of “speed-dating”,  optimizing the process of getting to know the other participants and projects they work in.

Reports of previous editions can be found here.


5 – Science & You



Date: 1st to 6th of June

Location: Nancy, Lorraine, France

At the conference website is now available the list of keynote speakers for the edition of 2015, among whom are internationally renowned experts in the field of science communication, such as Massimiano Bucchi, Alan Irwin and Brian Wynne.

Similarly to some conferences already listed, this also has an event dedicated to debate and present work related to various “areas” of science communication, although the privileged perspective to address these issues is from the point of view of academic researchers and therefore questions may assume a preference for a theoretical approach .


 6 – European Conference for Science Journalists


Date:  begins November 3rd

Location: Budapest

The second edition of this conference will be held in 2015. The president of the European Association of Science Journalists, Satu Lipponen, has introduced potential topics for the conference, among them investigative journalism, narratives and storytelling, tools of data journalism, ethical rules and how to foster independent science journalism in a media world dominated increasingly by science communicators and PR. [2]

The 2014 edition focused on topics such as the reasons for the low priority given (in general) to the reporting of science; the new requirements of the digital age for science journalists, as well as if it is worth to invest in investigative journalism, given its results, the effort put into it and the money investment in it. There was also some debate around the balance that must exist between the ethical media coverage of science and the promotion of research.


7 – World Conference of Science Journalists 


Date: 8th 12th of June

Location: Seoul, South Korea

This is a biennial conference, one of the major events in science journalism. In 2015 the conference theme will be “Explaining our horizons.”

Based on information from previous editions I realize one of the most important things about this conference is that it promotes the communication between science journalists (and other media professionals) with researchers, policy makers and citizens. The discussion of ideas in this context is a unique opportunity for understanding the functions and roles of the various actors in the science communication process and promote a better coordination between such agents. This is very important to promote a better management of the communication processes in science.


8 – 14º  RedPOP Conference


Date: 25th to 29th of May

Location: Mendellin, Colombia

This is a biennial conference which was held for the first time in 1990. The theme for the 2015 edition is “New ways of knowing art, science and technology.” On the conference website, we can better understand the scope to such theme: “this theme is a reflection of the current nature of outreach centers, where multiple languages ​​and world views converge. The boundaries between these languages ​​and worldviews are diffuse: Art? Science? Technology? How can we use art to speak about science? How to use science to better understand works of art? How to use science to approach art? How to use technological resources to develop a work of art …? ” [3].

Written by Susana Pereira

Susana Simões Pereira, maths teacher and PhD in science teaching and communication. I enjoy games and photography and I'm passionate for science and art, specially when together in the same context. You can follow my updates on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.