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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

Preferences of the population towards the different outreach materials.Preferences of the population in terms of the different materials: comics, newspaper illustrated chronicles, radio interviews and animated videos. (A) % of total population that considered each of the outreach materials the one that contributed most towards the understanding of scientific issues; (B) % of total population that considered each of the outreach materials the one that contributed most towards an engagement with science.
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pone.0133753.g005: Preferences of the population towards the different outreach materials.Preferences of the population in terms of the different materials: comics, newspaper illustrated chronicles, radio interviews and animated videos. (A) % of total population that considered each of the outreach materials the one that contributed most towards the understanding of scientific issues; (B) % of total population that considered each of the outreach materials the one that contributed most towards an engagement with science.

Mentions: All participants were asked to separately evaluate the different outreach materials about stem cells and their applications—the comic book, newspaper illustrated chronicles, radio interviews and animated videos—regarding their contribution towards their understanding and engagement. As shown on Fig 5A, the comic book was considered to be the outreach material that contributed most for a better understanding of the stem cells subject by 46.0% of the total population, followed by the illustrated chronicles (21.5%). The comic book was also considered the outreach material that had more impact on engagement regarding by 38.0% of the total population (Fig 5B).


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)

Preferences of the population towards the different outreach materials.Preferences of the population in terms of the different materials: comics, newspaper illustrated chronicles, radio interviews and animated videos. (A) % of total population that considered each of the outreach materials the one that contributed most towards the understanding of scientific issues; (B) % of total population that considered each of the outreach materials the one that contributed most towards an engagement with science.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0133753.g005: Preferences of the population towards the different outreach materials.Preferences of the population in terms of the different materials: comics, newspaper illustrated chronicles, radio interviews and animated videos. (A) % of total population that considered each of the outreach materials the one that contributed most towards the understanding of scientific issues; (B) % of total population that considered each of the outreach materials the one that contributed most towards an engagement with science.
Mentions: All participants were asked to separately evaluate the different outreach materials about stem cells and their applications—the comic book, newspaper illustrated chronicles, radio interviews and animated videos—regarding their contribution towards their understanding and engagement. As shown on Fig 5A, the comic book was considered to be the outreach material that contributed most for a better understanding of the stem cells subject by 46.0% of the total population, followed by the illustrated chronicles (21.5%). The comic book was also considered the outreach material that had more impact on engagement regarding by 38.0% of the total population (Fig 5B).

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