GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 201-10
Presentation Time: 10:40 AM


HENDRICKS, Rose, American Society for Cell Biology, Rockville, MD 20852

To maximize the impact that geoscience research has on society, geoscientists must communicate and collaborate with a wide range of non-geoscientists, from policymakers to local communities. This requires understanding the diverse mindsets, priorities, and concerns that these different stakeholders have, and accounting for those viewpoints in all engagements.

While there is extensive research on public opinions and analyses of policymakers’ positions related to the issue of climate change, there is no existing research, to my knowledge, on what role people in the United States would like to play in determining which research questions are asked, contributing to the development of studies or data collection, or participating in decision-making about how geoscience research should inform policies or public life.

I am a co-PI on a research project, in partnership with the Association of Science & Technology Centers and ScienceCounts, which aims to fill this gap by conducting focus groups and a nationally representative survey to better understand the ways that Americans — especially those from marginalized communities — want to participate in the scientific process and decision-making. Through this research, we are addressing questions such as: What scientific and geoscience questions do members of the public want researchers to prioritize? To what extent do members of the public want to be involved in generating answers to those questions? How do they want to engage with scientists — including geoscientists? And how do the answers to the previous questions differ based on factors like race or geography?

During this short talk, I will provide a high-level overview of the research findings and will discuss implications for geoscientists aiming to engage with diverse stakeholders to ensure their work makes the greatest societal impact possible.