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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

Understanding, Engagement and Attitude towards stem cells.Mean and standard deviation of the variables Understanding, Engagement and Attitude in the four groups analyzed.
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pone.0133753.g004: Understanding, Engagement and Attitude towards stem cells.Mean and standard deviation of the variables Understanding, Engagement and Attitude in the four groups analyzed.

Mentions: In order to better understand these differences another MANOVA was performed after splitting the group of high-school students into two groups according to their field of study, Sciences (n = 24) and Arts and Humanities (n = 28). Similarly, we split the group of University students into Biomedicine-related courses (n = 28) and Non-Biomedicine-related courses (n = 29). These groups will be henceforth heuristically referred to as simply Scientific and Non-Scientific groups, respectively, so as to be equivalent to the division of the high-school students. Post-hoc tests using the Bonferroni correction revealed that the significant differences found for the groups in all the dependent variables are due to the group of arts and humanities students, which had lower means than the mean for the remaining groups (p < 0.05) (Fig 4). Despite the lower level of understanding and engagement with the materials, there was still an acquisition of knowledge in this group (Study I).


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)

Understanding, Engagement and Attitude towards stem cells.Mean and standard deviation of the variables Understanding, Engagement and Attitude in the four groups analyzed.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0133753.g004: Understanding, Engagement and Attitude towards stem cells.Mean and standard deviation of the variables Understanding, Engagement and Attitude in the four groups analyzed.
Mentions: In order to better understand these differences another MANOVA was performed after splitting the group of high-school students into two groups according to their field of study, Sciences (n = 24) and Arts and Humanities (n = 28). Similarly, we split the group of University students into Biomedicine-related courses (n = 28) and Non-Biomedicine-related courses (n = 29). These groups will be henceforth heuristically referred to as simply Scientific and Non-Scientific groups, respectively, so as to be equivalent to the division of the high-school students. Post-hoc tests using the Bonferroni correction revealed that the significant differences found for the groups in all the dependent variables are due to the group of arts and humanities students, which had lower means than the mean for the remaining groups (p < 0.05) (Fig 4). Despite the lower level of understanding and engagement with the materials, there was still an acquisition of knowledge in this group (Study I).

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