We are thrilled to announce that the National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education program has awarded the UC Center for Public Engagement with Science (PEWS) funding to support a new interdisciplinary educational sequence for graduate students in public engagement with science. PEWS will receive $500,000 over three years to pilot coursework and internships in public engagement with science and to research the impact of this training.
The NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training. This award will investigate the value of systematic instruction in public engagement with science for meaningful public engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration, and diversity and inclusion in STEM.
PEWS Director Angela Potochnik and Associate Director Melissa Jacquart (both in Philosophy) will develop a 3-part educational sequence, the Engaging Science curriculum, which uses interdisciplinary collaboration, community partnership, and perspectives from philosophy of science to provide background and skills needed for effective public engagement with science. PEWS Faculty Affiliates Brooke Crowley (Geology & Anthropology) and Nate Morehouse (Biology) will participate in instruction and mentorship of the graduate students. Cincinnati Museum Center and Littisha Bates, Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Community Partnership in UC’s College of Arts & Sciences, will also support curriculum development and instruction.
PEWS Faculty Affiliate Carlie Trott (Psychology) will lead the research side of the project by examining the transformative impact of the Engaging Science curriculum, including its potential to advance the public reach of STEM disciplines and diversity and inclusion in STEM disciplines. The research plan combines quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the unique and additive impact of each level of training on short- and long-term outcomes. This approach will facilitate the adaptation of the curriculum for implementation in diverse contexts.
You can read about the pilot graduate seminar PEWS developed that will be used as the basis for part of the Engaging Science curriculum here.