Science in the Public Eye: Leveraging Partnerships—An Introduction
With stories of struggle and dramatic breakthroughs, science has incredible potential to interest the public. However, as the rhetoric of outrage surrounds controversies over science policy there is an urgent need for credible, trusted voices that frame science issues in a way that resonates with a diverse public. A network of informal educators, park rangers, museum docents and designers, and zoo and aquarium interpreters are prepared to do so during millions of visits a year; just where science stories are most meaningfully told—in the places where members of the public are open to learning. Scientific researchers can benefit from partnerships with these intermediaries who are accorded status for their trustworthiness and good will, who have expertise in translating the science using language, metaphors, encounters, and experiences that are appropriate for non-experts. In this volume, we describe and probe examples wherein scientists work productively with informal educators and designers, artists, staff of federal agencies, citizen scientists, and volunteers who bring science into the public eye.