Native Scientist explains how science outreach can improve equity, diversity, and inclusion



The article published today in the collection Trends Voices, in the Journal Trends in Cell Biology (Cell Press), discusses how the Native Schools programme, an outreach initiative that brings together migrant scientists and school children, tackles inequities in informal science and education. It further reflects on science communication and outreach practices and how initiatives in this field can be designed to improve EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion).

The authors of this scientific publication present Native Scientist’s model for an audience-centred and culturally-sensitive science outreach. Small groups of school children engage in a conversation-like communication process with in-group experts (i.e., scientists with characteristics similar to the target audience). According to the authors, the Native Schools model is built on EDI values and fosters migrant students’ motivation by bringing together students and scientists that share linguistic and cultural backgrounds. They further explain the “STEM+LANG” approach used in the programme whereby students learn science through language and vice-versa. “Language is important when considering EDI in outreach projects, as some groups can be excluded for the excessive use of technical words or because they are not fluent in the dominant language. Therefore, a critical aspect of the Native Schools programme is the use of matching language”, says Dr Jessika Golle, assistant professor at Tubingen University and first author of this work.

The article enforces the concept that the Native Scientist approach creates meaningful connections with science among migrant communities, boosting students’ enthusiasm for science, and empowering participating scientists in their careers. “What began as an adventurous and fun workshop in a London school for Portuguese-speaking children has now become an award-winning European-wide program targeting migrant communities”, says Dr Joana Moscoso, co-founder of Native Scientist and corresponding author of the paper. She continues: “Through the seven guiding principles presented in the article, we aim to advocate for improved EDI in science and education, and to inspire and encourage more scientists to participate in science outreach.”

Reference

Jessika Golle, Ana I. Catarino, Joana M. Bordalo, and Joana A. Moscoso. How science outreach with children can promote equity and diversity. Trends in cell Biology May 13, 2022 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcb.2022.04.005

For further information please contact: Joana.moscoso@nativescientist.com; jessika.golle@uni-tuebingen.de



About Native Scientist

Created by international migrant scientists for international migrant children, Native Scientist is a young and passionate multi-award-winning, European-wide, non-profit organisation that unites advocates for diversity and inclusion in science and education. In the classroom or beyond, Native Scientist actively engages with 250+ scientists every year, inspiring over 1,200 pupils to consider a science-related career and feel proud to use their heritage language.

About University of Tübingen

Officially the Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen, is a public research university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The University of Tübingen is one of eleven German Excellence Universities. The University of Tübingen undertakes a broad range of research projects in various fields.

About Journal Trends in Cell Biology

Trends in Cell Biology is among the leading review journals in molecular and cell biology. Review articles published each month monitor the breadth and depth of current research reporting on new developments as they happen and integrating methods, disciplines and principles. In addition to Reviews, Trends in Cell Biology publishes Opinion articles, which follow trends and provide innovative ideas to give insight into the implications of new developments and suggest future directions. Trends Voices is a collection of articles that amplify perspectives on important topics that drive science forward. The goal is to help authors inspire action to address the most pressing social and structural issues that hinder scientific progress.