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The State of Inclusive Science Communication: A Landscape Study

November 17, 2020 | Public Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks

Inclusive science communication (ISC) is a new and broad term that encompasses all efforts to engage specific audiences in conversations or activities about science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) topics, including, but not limited to, public engagement, informal science learning, journalism, and formal science education. Unlike other approaches toward science communication, however, ISC research and practice is grounded in inclusion, equity, and intersectionality, making these concerns central to the goals, design, implementation, evaluation, and refinement of science communication efforts. Together, the diverse suite of insights and practices that inform ISC comprise an emerging movement.

While there is a growing recognition of the value and urgency of inclusive approaches, there is little documented knowledge about the potential catalysts and barriers for this work. Without documentation, synthesis, and critical reflection, the movement cannot proceed as quickly as is warranted. The University of Rhode Island’s Metcalf Institute conducted a landscape study to address this gap and clarify the state of ISC with support from The Kavli Foundation. This document summarizes the findings from interviews of thirty ISC leaders whose work spans career stages, disciplines, sectors, and modes. The study also was informed by input from attendees at the 2019 InclusiveSciComm Symposium, the 2019 Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference, the 2020 Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) Summit, and informal conversations at other conferences held in 2020.


  • Katherine Canfield
    University of Rhode Island
  • Sunshine Menezes
    University of Rhode Island
  • Citation


    Private Foundation
    Funding Program: The Kavli Foundation
    Private Foundation
    Funding Program: Metcalf Institute
    Private Foundation
    Funding Program: Burroughs Wellcome Fund
    Resource Type: Reference Materials
    Discipline: General STEM
    Audience: Administration/Leadership/Policymakers | General Public | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists
    Environment Type: Public Programs | Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks | Conferences

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