Multi-Site Public Engagement with Science - Final External Evaluation Report
This report presents the findings from the summative evaluation of the Multi-Site Public Engagement with Science project (MSPES), funded by an NSF AISL award. MSPES aimed to bring together public audiences and professional scientists through “Building with Biology” programming - public events and forums centered on the topic of synthetic biology. The goal was to promote meaningful, two-way dialogs around this area of science, which is rapidly advancing and raising interesting social and ethical questions. The project team sought to move beyond a traditional "public understanding of science" model of public outreach and promote "public engagement with science" where the knowledge, ideas, and concerns of both scientists and the public are valued and each group learns from the other. The project also received supplemental funding to do a second series of forums on the topic of human genome editing. These “Editing Our Evolution” forums were hosted by 22 institutions across the United States. Rockman et al served as external evaluators for both parts of the MSPES project, focusing on outcomes for informal science educators and scientists involved in the project.