Science communication and advocacy: Challenging power structures at the interface

Science communicators work in the same space as advocacy groups in a number of areas including technology policy formation, health risk assessment and environmental protection.

Drawing on her own experiences as a science communication practitioner and researcher, Michelle will talk about the work of science communicators in these challenging spaces, and how we might more effectively engage with advocates and advocacy organisations to address urgent needs for social transformation.

This presentation focuses on the interface of science communication and advocacy: extreme citizen science, advocates as “alternative” science communicators, and strategic science communication.

Michelle Riedlinger (PhD, University of Queensland, 2005) joined the University of the Fraser Valley Communication Department in August 2011. She specializes in science and environmental communication and brings her communication consultancy experience to various subjects including academic writing, advocacy, grant writing and crisis communication. Michelle is interested in how science and environmental research is communicated, particularly the contribution of researchers to public and policy debate on controversial issues. She is a member of the Scientific Committee for the international Network on Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST), the global network for science communication. She is the Secretary of the Fraser Valley branch of the Professional Writers Association of Canada.

Michelle loves being outdoors—walking, mountain biking, climbing and sailing—and is learning how to cross-country ski.