SciBeh Virtual Workshop 2023: Collectively Intelligent Science Communication - Lessons learned for a post-COVID era

1–2 March 2023

Goals of the workshop

In this workshop, we will examine how to make collective intelligence – shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration, collective efforts, and competition of many individuals and appears in consensus decision making – a practical tool for effective science communication. The workshop will combine themed talks with practical attempts by participants, using collective intelligence tools, to generate better communication strategies that build on three central topics: building trust in science, combatting denialism in COVID-19 and climate change, and differentiation of evidence communication vs. science communication.

After an initial introduction to these topics as talks given by domain experts, participants can contribute to discussions in any of the topics. These will take place as “Rapid Think Tanks”, a collective online asynchronous discussion consisting of three stages (each taking place on a separate day): (i) divergent collective exploration of the topic; (ii) convergence towards most relevant emergent items from the previous phase; and (iii) final selection of items to be voted and built into a final report.

Topic 1 - Evidence communication vs. science communication

  • While it is important to assess the quality of the scientific process, communicating the nitty gritty of this process to non-scientists is frequently complicated and resource-intensive. Yet, what eventually matters is mostly where the science points to, that is what the evidence tells them to do or not to do. It therefore seems reasonable to differentiate between communicating science and communicating evidence.
  • Can this differentiating increase the effectiveness of science communication? Are there differences in respect to times of crisis?
  • When is science communication needed, when does evidence communication suffice?
  • Is it enough to communicate evidence to decision makers? Does this create accountability problems?
  • Should authorities even be allowed to only communicate evidence?
  • Does it raise issues for transparency?

Topic 2 - Denialism: from COVID-19 to Climate Change

  • Psychological and philosophical foundations of science denialism.
  • Common aspects of anti-scientific movements but common solutions?
  • The politics of denialism: post-truth and anti-scientific populism.
  • Are social media platforms aggravating the problem?
  • How can we reach and engage effectively with denialists?
  • Is collectively intelligent science communication a potential solution?

Topic 3 - Building trust in science

  • Looking beyond trust in science as a problem with individuals: supporting trust with better social infrastructure.
  • Does visible (and uncivil) disagreement among scientists harm trust?
  • Is transparency in science the answer: What can transparent research processes, findings, and availability of data and methods for review and replication achieve, and what are their limits?
  • Acknowledgement and communication of uncertainty in scientific findings.
  • Engagement of the public in science—can we build trust through participatory processes?
  • The role of diversity in generating trusted and trustworthy findings.

Agenda: Session information, speakers and panellists

Registration form

Interested in participating? Please register here

Organization team