Joseph, you are the lead guest editor of this special issue of JCOM. Could you tell us more about the idea behind it?
This special issue is one of the key outputs of the GlobalSCAPE project. GlobalSCAPE was funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 work programme topic SwafS-19 and was tasked with, among other things, taking stock and re-examining the role of science communication teaching as a dedicated academic discipline. Thanks to a very productive collaboration with the PCST (the Network for the Public Communication of Science and Technology) a map of science communication courses around the world is being developed and will help students, researchers, and practitioners to find and share science communication courses anywhere in the world. This special issue is a chance for us to learn more about how science communication is being taught in universities around the world. The collaboration between the PCST and GlobalSCAPE is coordinated via the PCST Teaching Forum and has been led by the GlobalSCAPE team member Luisa Massarani of SciDev.Net.
You were involved in previous JCOM special issues featuring EU-funded projects working on the role of science communication in society. What is different about this one?
This JCOM special issue builds on the previous special issues in 2021 and 2022 featuring the work of the eight SwafS-19 projects. As GlobalSCAPE is the final science communication research project to be funded, we have an added responsibility to highlight the importance of gathering global voices on science communication to understand the practices, strategies, and the ramifications of how science communication is taught in a rapidly changing global landscape. This will be integral to a new Horizon Europe project that the European Commission is funding from 2023-2027 that will bring all eight SwafS-19 projects together to establish a European Centre for Science Communication.
You probably expect to receive a high number of abstracts, what is your advice to help submitting authors stand out?
We would love to receive a high number of abstracts but it is unlikely. The whole reason we need this special issue is because so few people publish papers on how they teach science communication. There are many possible reasons for that but one of them might be the costs associated. That is why we are so glad to be working with JCOM which publishes all its papers open access and has no article processing charges so at least there will be no financial barrier to researchers and practitioners sharing their work. We are very grateful to the JCOM Editors Michelle Riedlinger and Marina Joubert for recognising the importance of this work.
If anyone is considering submitting an article to the special issue we recommend getting in touch with any of the four guest editors, all of whom are linked to the GlobalSCAPE project: Joseph Roche (PI of GlobalSCAPE at Trinity College Dublin <Joseph.Roche@tcd.ie>), Luisa Massarani (Representing GlobalSCAPE partner SciDev.Net <email@example.com>), Bruce Lewenstein (Member of the GlobalSCAPE Advisory Board at Cornell University <firstname.lastname@example.org>), Anne Land-Zandstra (Representing GlobalSCAPE partner Leiden University <email@example.com>).