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I Want More and Better Cells! - An Outreach Project about Stem Cells and Its Impact on the General Population.

Varela Amaral S, Forte T, Ramalho-Santos J, Girão da Cruz MT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The study of the outreach materials in a heterogeneous sample of the population suggests that they are valuable tools to disseminate scientific messages, and that this is especially true for the comic-book format.Additionally, these materials can influence political, social and personal attitudes toward science.These results, together with the importance attributed to scientific research in stem cells by the population sampled, validates the diffusion of such materials as a significant contribution towards an overall public understanding and engagement in contemporary science, and this strategy should thus be considered in future projects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; CNC - center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
Although science and technology impact every aspect of modern societies, there is still an extensive gap between science and society, which impairs the full exercise of citizenship. In the particular case of biomedical research increased investment should be accompanied by parallel efforts in terms of public information and engagement. We have carried out a project involving the production and evaluation of educational contents focused on stem cells - illustrated newspaper chronicles, radio interviews, a comic book, and animated videos - and monitored their impact on the Portuguese population. The study of the outreach materials in a heterogeneous sample of the population suggests that they are valuable tools to disseminate scientific messages, and that this is especially true for the comic-book format. Furthermore, the data showed that clear and stimulating outreach materials, that are able to teach new concepts and to promote critical thinking, increase engagement in science at different levels, depending on the depth of the concepts involved. Additionally, these materials can influence political, social and personal attitudes toward science. These results, together with the importance attributed to scientific research in stem cells by the population sampled, validates the diffusion of such materials as a significant contribution towards an overall public understanding and engagement in contemporary science, and this strategy should thus be considered in future projects. Regardless, stringent quality control must be implemented in order to efficiently communicate accurate scientific developments, and the public stimulated in terms of finding additional sources of reliable information.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Knowledge Score.(A) Percentage of the population that acquired and that did not acquire knowledge after contact with the materials—general knowledge score. Knowledge acquisition was measured using the final knowledge score (an index that uses a scale between zero and one—zero representing no knowledge acquisition and one representing maximum knowledge acquisition). (B) Levels of acquired knowledge (%): low level of acquired knowledge, medium level of acquired knowledge, and high level of acquired knowledge; these levels were defined according to the final knowledge score of the total population. The graphs represent the data for all groups of the population sample.
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pone.0133753.g003: Knowledge Score.(A) Percentage of the population that acquired and that did not acquire knowledge after contact with the materials—general knowledge score. Knowledge acquisition was measured using the final knowledge score (an index that uses a scale between zero and one—zero representing no knowledge acquisition and one representing maximum knowledge acquisition). (B) Levels of acquired knowledge (%): low level of acquired knowledge, medium level of acquired knowledge, and high level of acquired knowledge; these levels were defined according to the final knowledge score of the total population. The graphs represent the data for all groups of the population sample.

Mentions: A Knowledge Score was computed via the difference between Posterior Knowledge and Previous Knowledge comprising two categories: knowledge acquired and no knowledge acquired (Fig 3). The results suggest that 93.2% of the population acquired some knowledge, and that 6.8% didn’t show improvement from the first to the second session (Fig 3A). Within the category knowledge acquired, in a scale ranging from zero to one, 34.9% of the total population presented a low level of acquired knowledge (0 to 0.33), 59.4% presented a medium level of acquired knowledge (0.33 to 0.66), and 5.7% had a high level of acquired knowledge (0.66 to 1) (Fig 3B).


I Want More and Better Cells! - An Outreach Project about Stem Cells and Its Impact on the General Population.

Varela Amaral S, Forte T, Ramalho-Santos J, Girão da Cruz MT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Knowledge Score.(A) Percentage of the population that acquired and that did not acquire knowledge after contact with the materials—general knowledge score. Knowledge acquisition was measured using the final knowledge score (an index that uses a scale between zero and one—zero representing no knowledge acquisition and one representing maximum knowledge acquisition). (B) Levels of acquired knowledge (%): low level of acquired knowledge, medium level of acquired knowledge, and high level of acquired knowledge; these levels were defined according to the final knowledge score of the total population. The graphs represent the data for all groups of the population sample.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4519251&req=5

pone.0133753.g003: Knowledge Score.(A) Percentage of the population that acquired and that did not acquire knowledge after contact with the materials—general knowledge score. Knowledge acquisition was measured using the final knowledge score (an index that uses a scale between zero and one—zero representing no knowledge acquisition and one representing maximum knowledge acquisition). (B) Levels of acquired knowledge (%): low level of acquired knowledge, medium level of acquired knowledge, and high level of acquired knowledge; these levels were defined according to the final knowledge score of the total population. The graphs represent the data for all groups of the population sample.
Mentions: A Knowledge Score was computed via the difference between Posterior Knowledge and Previous Knowledge comprising two categories: knowledge acquired and no knowledge acquired (Fig 3). The results suggest that 93.2% of the population acquired some knowledge, and that 6.8% didn’t show improvement from the first to the second session (Fig 3A). Within the category knowledge acquired, in a scale ranging from zero to one, 34.9% of the total population presented a low level of acquired knowledge (0 to 0.33), 59.4% presented a medium level of acquired knowledge (0.33 to 0.66), and 5.7% had a high level of acquired knowledge (0.66 to 1) (Fig 3B).

Bottom Line: The study of the outreach materials in a heterogeneous sample of the population suggests that they are valuable tools to disseminate scientific messages, and that this is especially true for the comic-book format.Additionally, these materials can influence political, social and personal attitudes toward science.These results, together with the importance attributed to scientific research in stem cells by the population sampled, validates the diffusion of such materials as a significant contribution towards an overall public understanding and engagement in contemporary science, and this strategy should thus be considered in future projects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; CNC - center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
Although science and technology impact every aspect of modern societies, there is still an extensive gap between science and society, which impairs the full exercise of citizenship. In the particular case of biomedical research increased investment should be accompanied by parallel efforts in terms of public information and engagement. We have carried out a project involving the production and evaluation of educational contents focused on stem cells - illustrated newspaper chronicles, radio interviews, a comic book, and animated videos - and monitored their impact on the Portuguese population. The study of the outreach materials in a heterogeneous sample of the population suggests that they are valuable tools to disseminate scientific messages, and that this is especially true for the comic-book format. Furthermore, the data showed that clear and stimulating outreach materials, that are able to teach new concepts and to promote critical thinking, increase engagement in science at different levels, depending on the depth of the concepts involved. Additionally, these materials can influence political, social and personal attitudes toward science. These results, together with the importance attributed to scientific research in stem cells by the population sampled, validates the diffusion of such materials as a significant contribution towards an overall public understanding and engagement in contemporary science, and this strategy should thus be considered in future projects. Regardless, stringent quality control must be implemented in order to efficiently communicate accurate scientific developments, and the public stimulated in terms of finding additional sources of reliable information.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus