The main goal of STAGE project is to equip scientists and science communicators with the skills and knowledge necessary to increase public engagement in science. The STAGE project was conceptualized as an approach to address the current and urgent needs of European countries:
- the decline of interest in science
- a developing science distrust
- the need to tackle the climate change crisis
To address these needs, STAGE adopts a gender-inclusivity approach by targeting women scientists‘ engagement in training and designing gender-inclusive materials for public engagement with science. The project promotes the underlying objective of the European Education area through training the future generations in co-creating knowledge for a resilient, inclusive and sustainable society and addresses the priority of developing STEM in higher education and, in particular, women’s participation in STEM.
Through the implementation of the project, we aim to train scientists, especially females who are currently underrepresented in science and in science communication, to communicate science effectively and engage the public in climate change action.
By adopting a gender-inclusive approach to public engagement with science, the project aims to address the following objectives:
- Train scientists, especially women, to engage the public with scientific issues, concepts, and actions related to climate change
- Build the capacity of scientists, especially women, to reflect critically on the social, historical, cultural, and ethical dimensions of science, particularly in the field of climate change
- Develop scientists‘, especially women‘, writing and oral skills needed to engage with the public in various spaces: popular science magazines, newspapers, websites, social media, TV, radio, TEDx talks, science festivals, etc.
- Improve scientists‘ understanding of the factors causing distrust towards scientists and disengagement with science
- Develop scientists‘, especially females‘, understanding how public engagement can benefit their careers.
The project objectives include developing and implementing professional development training for scientists on public engagement with science, precisely climate change issues, following a STEM approach and a gender-inclusive approach, and promoting the participation of women in STEM fields. Toward this goal, we present the first version of our toolkit, which will be used as the basis for the project’s future professional development activities.