Beyond the Deficit Model: The Ambassador Approach to Public Engagement

Date: 
Monday, April 1, 2019
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Community Outreach Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Professional Development and Workshops
Audience: 
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: 
Ecology, forestry, and agriculture | General STEM | Life science
Organization:
University of Utah, Stanford University, Pacific Science Center, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, Natural History Museum of Utah
Description: 

Scientists are increasingly motivated to engage the public, particularly those who do not or cannot access traditional science education opportunities. Communication researchers have identified shortcomings of the deficit model approach, which assumes that skepticism toward science is based on a lack of information or scientific literacy, and encourage scientists to facilitate open-minded exchange with the public. We describe an ambassador approach, to develop a scientist's impact identity, which integrates his or her research, personal interests and experiences to achieve societal impacts. The scientist identifies a community or focal group to engage, on the basis of his or her impact identity, learns about that group, and promotes inclusion of all group members by engaging in venues in which that group naturally gathers, rather than in traditional education settings. Focal group members stated that scientists communicated effectively and were responsive to participant questions and ideas. Scientists reported professional and personal benefits from this approach.

Funder(s): 
NSF
Funding Program: 
AISL
Award Number: 
1514494
Citation
DOI:
10.1093/biosci/biz018
ISSN:
1525-3244
Publication Name: 
BioScience
Volume: 
69
Number: 
4
Page Number: 
305–313
Document:

Team Members

Sue AllenAuthor
Rebecca MenloveRebecca MenloveAuthor

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