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Science festivals and diversity: Human centred design as a method for social inclusion, increasing diversity and widening participation

Science festivals and diversity: Human centred design as a method for social inclusion, increasing diversity and widening participation

Keith, Lindsay ORCID: 0000-0002-5324-1719 and Griffiths, Wyn (2019) Science festivals and diversity: Human centred design as a method for social inclusion, increasing diversity and widening participation. International Journal of Science Education. ISSN 0950-0693 (Print), 1464-5289 (Online) (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Discourse around the concept of public engagement with research (PER) has long referred to demographic groups who are underrepresented in informal science and arts educational activities as “hard to reach.” The concept of the “hard to reach” audience persists and many efforts have been made to attempt a more equitable distribution and engagement with activities for under-represented communities, with mixed degrees of effectiveness. In this article we demonstrate a novel model (“SCENE”) for the engagement of underserved and underrepresented audiences in informal science and arts education. Moreover, the authors demonstrate that the process of human-centred participatory design can overcome many of the barriers to engagement encountered by under-represented audiences, including BAME communities and families living with multiple indicators for poverty.

Adopting the “SCENE” principles (socially-inclusive, human-centred design,) as cornerstones of engagement activity development, ensures that typically marginalised and excluded audiences are better represented at events. In this particular example the authors demonstrate how a science and arts festival (SMASHfestUK) attracted audiences which were more than 60% BME, and skewed the gender balance of girls: boys to 60:40. Both these results buck the trend for typical informal science and arts festivals. The authors contend that not only is the “hard to reach” label inaccurate, but that by careful and inclusive use of SCENE, more equitable and representative access to informal science and arts education can be achieved. Furthermore the authors argue that not only is the use of the SCENE principles desirable, but it is imperative for social inclusion and the furtherance of the slow move towards equality in STEM and social mobility.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is in its final stages of drafting and will be submitted to the International Journal of Science Education by July 1st 2019. The journal's chief editor has already expressed an interest in the paper and invited submission. I was advised that although this paper has not yet been formally submitted that I should include it GALA for consideration for GREAT 2019, on the basis that this will have a bearing on REF2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: public, engagement, community, narrative, embodiment, community, youth, BAME, BME, socio-economic, deprivation, careers, study
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Creative Professions & Digital Arts
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2019 15:28
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/15196

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