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In Australia, we are getting better at engaging everyday people with science.

We do it on the streets. We do it in cinemas. We do it on trains, planes and buses. We do it in our national parks and we do it in our own backyards.

It is important to engage Australians with science because it plays a significant role in our personal health and wealth, and in our collective growth as a nation.

A big reason why we, science communicators and communication researchers, are getting better at engaging the public with science is that we are learning from each other about what works and what doesn't. We, ourselves, are getting better at engaging with each other.

That is why we'd love to add your science engagement project to the national database.

You can add one project or as many projects as you want.

If you already have a project listed, feel free to update the information at any time.

Contact us if you are not sure how you can access your project information.

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Climate Champion program

Econnect Communication facilitates the logistics of the program, which involves 34 farmers around Australia talking to other farmers about the best ways they know to deal with climate change/variability, and talking to researchers about what farmers want to know about from research (into climate/weather/forecasting AND ag issues). They go to workshops with each other, do media, meet other farmers and researchers at conferences/field days/seminars/on-farm demonstrations/online/phonecalls, do surveys and give feedback to researchers, are interviewed for online case studies, and linking with other networks of people. We help them by training them in presentation/media skills, link them with people they want to access/who want to access them, send them the latest info on climate/ag research, handle media enquiries, write articles for/on them, organise workshops, help them with speaking engagements/presentations, providing supporter/climate literature/printouts and sending banners/promo materials for events.

http://www.climatekelpie.com.au/ask-a-farmer/climate-champion-program
  • Overview of activity
    Hide
    1.1

    Name of this engagement activity?

    Climate Champion program

    1.2

    Website/webpage that describes the activity?

    http://www.climatekelpie.com.au/ask-a-farmer/climate-champion-program

    1.3

    Start and end of the activity.

    Till 30 Jun 2016

    1.4

    Frequency of the activity.

    • Weekly
    1.5

    Brief description of the activity.

    Econnect Communication facilitates the logistics of the program, which involves 34 farmers around Australia talking to other farmers about the best ways they know to deal with climate change/variability, and talking to researchers about what farmers want to know about from research (into climate/weather/forecasting AND ag issues). They go to workshops with each other, do media, meet other farmers and researchers at conferences/field days/seminars/on-farm demonstrations/online/phonecalls, do surveys and give feedback to researchers, are interviewed for online case studies, and linking with other networks of people. We help them by training them in presentation/media skills, link them with people they want to access/who want to access them, send them the latest info on climate/ag research, handle media enquiries, write articles for/on them, organise workshops, help them with speaking engagements/presentations, providing supporter/climate literature/printouts and sending banners/promo materials for events.

    1.6

    Best description of the focus of your activity?

    • Awareness raising
    1.7

    Outcomes your activity seeks.

    High importance
    Low importance

    Attract increasing national and/or international interest in science

    Critically engage target groups with key scientific issues

    Encourage behavioural or policy change

    Encourage people to think critically and logically using scientific method

    Encourage young people to pursue scientific studies/careers

    Inspire target groups and get them to value scientific endeavour

    Make science more accessible

    1.8

    Focus of your activity.

    Major component
    Not present in activity

    Institutional priority or public policy change related to science and technology

    Personal, community and societal values related to applications of science and technology

    Societal and environmental impacts and implications from science and technology

    The nature of the scientific process or enterprise

    Understanding of the natural and human-made world

  • Who is involved
    Hide
    2.1

    Group(s) are you targeting with your activity.

    • Farmers
    • Regional communities
    2.2

    Locations of the groups project is targeting.

    States and Territories

    Capital city National
    Regional city(ies) / town(s) National
    Rural / remote National

    More specific geographic informations.

    Not available

    2.3

    Leader/manager of the activity.

    Business / corporation Not just one
    2.4

    Involvement in managing the activity.

    Business / corporation MCV, GRDC, MLA, SRDC, RIRDC, AWI, CRDC
    Community groups / Foundations / Societies / Associations 34 Australian farmers
    Consultancy/freelancer Econnect Communication
    Federal government e.g. Department of Finance DAFF
    2.5

    Funder of the activity?

    GRDC
    MCV
    MLA
    AWI / CRDC
  • Engagement activity in more depth
    Hide
    3.1

    Fields of science involved in the activity.

    • Agricultural and veterinary sciences
    • Biological sciences
    • Chemical sciences
    • Earth sciences
    • Environmental sciences
    • Information and computing sciences
    • Physical sciences
    3.2

    Target group(s) involvement in the activity.

    Major component of activity
    Not part of activity

    Ask questions of experts, interactive inquiry learning in activities/exhibits

    Consult, share views and knowledge among/between participants and science experts

    Create content/new products

    Deliberate with other participants and group problem-solving

    Learn from watching, listening, viewing lectures, media and/or exhibits

    Participate in research

    Produce recommendations or reports

    Work with scientists

    3.3

    Tools you have used or will use for engagement.

    • Brochure
    • Conference
    • Consultative meeting
    • Establish network / link to existing network
    • Face-to-face
    • Field day
    • Focus group
    • Interview
    • Provide or supplement educational materials
    • Newsletter/emails
    • Online video
    • Phone
    • Questionnaire
    • Seminar
    • Social event (e.g. pub quiz night, dinner discussion, movie night)
    • Traditional media (print, radio or television)
    • Social media (e.g, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn)
    • Survey (either online, paper-based or telephone)
    • Video conferencing
    • Website
    • Workshop
    3.4

    How does the engagement fit within the process of science.

    • to get target groups involved in shaping the science question
    • to find out target group’s perceptions, concerns and needs about the science before it has started
    • to engage target groups in scientific research that is ongoing
    • to find out target group’s perceptions, concerns and needs about the science while it is being done
    • to get the target group(s) involved in actually doing the science
    • to find out target group’s perceptions, concerns and needs about completed science
    • to engage target group in completed science or established scientific knowledge
    3.5

    Level of involvement of the following people in delivering the engagement activity.

    High involvement
    Low involvement

    Communication professionals

    Community representatives

    Interpretation specialists (e.g. museum curators, science centre education officers, rangers)

    Managers (e.g. resources, business, etc.)

    Scientists not directly involved in the research

    Other specialists (e.g. graphic designer, artists, actors, etc.)

    Scientists who did or are doing the research

    Students

    Teachers / academics

    Volunteers (other than scientists)

  • Evaluation
    Hide
    4.1

    Evidences that your engagement activity was likely to work before starting it.

    • Research on target audience needs
    • Anecdotal evidence
    • Evaluation of past activities
    4.2

    Credibility, and accuracy of the science involved in your engagement activity.

    • Based on research
    • Credibility, reputation and experience of organisation/s
    • Discussed with scientists as part of the engagement activity
    • Involves professional communicators/ educators
    • Ongoing monitoring/ updating
    • Peer review sources or input
    • Training/ professional development
    • Work directly with or have direct input from scientists/ experts
    4.3

    Evaluation you have done or plan to do for this activity.

    • Informal
    • In-house
    • External
    4.4

    Tools and methods of evaluation you will use.

    • Feedback through forms, emails, letters and face-to-face
    • Interviews
    • Media monitoring
    • Pre-testing materials
    • Social media monitoring
    • Surveys
    • Web-traffic monitoring
    4.5

    One thing that would tell you your engagement was successful.

    things! That farmers change their practices/enterprises/management/technologies and very successfully adapt to Australia's changing climate; and that climate/ag scientists come out with research questions and results that farmers can directly use/apply to their businesses.

Contact details

Jenni Metcalfe

Science Communicator

Econnect Communication

Jenni Metcalfe

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