NERC Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme. Communicating Environmental Science Workshop

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1 NERC Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme Communicating Environmental Science Workshop Delivery Partners: Wales Environment Research Hub and the Climate Change Consortium for Wales 27 th 28 th June 2013 at the Reichel Conference Centre, Bangor University Background Following an earlier successful workshop funded by the NERC Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme (WSKEP) and delivered by the Wales Environment Research Hub (WERH), NERC provided funding to WERH for a one-off workshop in the area of communicating environmental science. WERH works closely with the Climate Change Consortium of Wales (C3W) which is a consortium of four leading research universities in Wales working on climate change science. WERH and C3W collaborated on both the design and the delivery of this NERC KE workshop. Rationale WERH and C3W were keen to foster an interactive environment for this workshop, with a mix of expert science communicators, researcher providers and end-users of research (policy-makers, agencies, businesses, NGOs). Although the main theme was environmental science, invited contributors also included those with expertise in politics, social science and medicine to enable cross-fertilisation of ideas from different disciplines. Workshop Output Originally NERC suggested the production of a Best Practice manual in relation to communicating science effectively. However, in the lead time preceding the workshop, the Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) programme published their own manual LWEC Knowledge Exchange Guidelines [Available online: As a result, it was decided to produce a separate output from the workshop rather than duplicate the LWEC publication. WERH and C3W agreed that the most useful output would be to collate and synthesise the content and supporting material for the workshop, according to the framework of the LWEC Guidelines, so as to extend and deepen them through feedback and case studies. Workshop output materials so far, including programme, delegate list, event photos, presentations and case studies with supporting links and sets of re-training materials (e.g. the video package), workshop summary and feedback with graphs, are available on the workshop website at:

2 Workshop Design NERC Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme, Wales Environment Research Hub, Climate Change Consortium for Wales Communicating Environmental Science Workshop Venue: Reichel Conference Centre, Bangor University Who Time Activity Day 1 - Thursday 27 June, 2013 Morning Registration, welcome and refreshments Parallel poster Introduction to Knowledge Exchange Chair- Shaun Russell NERC Knowledge Shaun Russell Workshop introduction and context Exchange Fellows Faith Culshaw Overview of NERC and KE Programmes Matthew Goodwin Keynote Address: Engaging academics with policy Tea/coffee Communicating science interactive James Scourse Introduction to the interactive on making science relevant and engaging audiences. Exercise 1 - know your topic and keep your message simple Exercise 2 - know your audience and tailor your presentation to their interests, concerns and expectations

3 Exercise 3 - how to devise "hooks" that link what we want to communicate with the interests of the target audience Lunch Afternoon Communicating science effectively Chair- Saskia Pagella Alice Bell Public engagement with science Adam Corner Knowledge exchange for behaviour change Parallel poster NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellows Tony Coll Using the video medium for explaining research outputs Tea/coffee Vince Jones Communicating science and the media Shaun Russell Day summary 5-minute case studies: the Chasing Ice global warming story (Vince Jones); Ming the Mollusc oldest known animal (James Scourse); UK-NEA and the Wales Landuse and Climate Change Report (Shaun Russell). Panel discussion Alice Bell, Vince Jones, John Martin, James Scourse, Shaun Russell. John Martin Wartime Farm 1900 Dinner at Blue Sky Restaurant, Bangor

4 Day 2 Friday 28 June, 2013 Morning Science into practice - industry end-users Chair- Shaun Russell Faith Culshaw The UK Water Research and Innovation Partnership Tony Harrington An industry perspective on research needs and knowledge transfer Tea/coffee Science into Policy progress and products Chair- Tim Pagella Elizabeth Warham The science into policy work of the Government Office for Science Environment Agency EA science reporting Graham Winter Activities of the National Assembly of Wales Research Service Lunch Afternoon Science and Impact Chair Charlie Falzon Kathryn Monk Pathways to Impact and the Research Excellence Framework (REF) Andrew Pullin Evidence synthesis using systematic review Jo Rycroft-Malone Evidence into practice Tea/coffee Gary Carvalho Knowledge Exchange case study: the EU-FP7 FishPopTrace project Mark Everard Communicating ecosystem services Shaun Russell Summing-up and close Parallel poster Parallel poster

5 Workshop Feedback Percentage (%) respondents Questions (rated very good, good, ok, poor, very poor) reporting Very good or Good The invitation/ booking process 88 The venue and refreshments 94 The overall workshop process design 94 The introductory presentations 88 The workshop facilitators 88 Your opportunity to connect with others 100 Your opportunity to join in discussions 82 The workshop value to you in your role 94 Some of the feedback questions (e.g. concerning introductory presentations and facilitators) were taken from a standard form, and were not relevant to the format of this workshop. This discrepancy will be addressed in future events. Feedback Comments 25 of the 50 delegates provided formal documentary feedback, with many more providing informal comment on the day and afterwards. The strongest positive feedback was for both the practical and the multi-disciplinary nature of the event. Delegates consistently reported that they found great value in hearing about experiences and learning from case studies in disciplines outside their own. They felt that they gained truly novel insights and pointers for their future work, from this open interaction. There were lively and animated discussions throughout the event, and several reported the workshop as the most enjoyable that they had ever attended. Two comments featured in the feedback which will inform the design of future WERH and C3W workshops. Delegates found that the first day was preferable owing to its highly interactive nature. Day two had rather more formal Power Point presentations. Some reported that finishing earlier on the second day would have allowed more to stay for the full workshop, whilst still heading home from the Bangor location in good time. Workshop Output LWEC (2013) states Fundamentally, KE is the process of ensuring that the right insights are conveyed to the right people both in the right way and the right time (p.1). LWEC developed the Guidelines to help both researchers and research end users to develop understanding of each other s needs and capacities, and enable them to exchange reasonable, meaningful questions and responses with each other (LWEC, 2013 p.1).

6 LWEC lists the following items as key areas for consideration when participating in KE events: 1. Target identify what you need to achieve from KE and put an appropriate structure in place to from the start of any research project 2. Design embed a realistic KE programme within the full research programme 3. Engage it is critical to develop a dialogue with potential end users and other stakeholders 4. Facilitate as the research programme proceeds, enhance the KE process by enabling engagement with end users and stakeholders where possible 5. Share knowledge exchange should ensure a two-way flow between stakeholders by harnessing specific mechanisms to ensure this 6. Impact make sure that results delivered are of real use to the programme s end users and stakeholders 7. Sustain ensure that engagement and impact continues beyond the timescale of the research programme 8. Evaluate monitor any KE activities and learn from experiences to enhance future KE events and processes and future research projects The full Communicating Environmental Science report will summarise and synthesise the content and findings of the workshop, according to this LWEC framework. It will also link to the many case studies and other supporting material that was referenced at the meeting. Much of this material is already available on the workshop website at:

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