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Fostering Action on Science Engagement Challenges

Falling Walls Foundation | Ana Faustino, Kyerewaa Boateng, Bernard Appiah, Julian Ferreras, Stephanie Okeyo

A discussion on action-oriented projects that reflect on Science Engagement challenges and think about solutions on how to tackle them.

Science can only be made accessible to everyone through Science Engagement. Science Engagement consists in involving individuals outside of the scientific community in science initiatives, to contribute to improved science literacy, wellbeing and informed decision-making in society. In the last decades, the Science Engagement field has seen substantial growth, however, obvious challenges still exist. How can we incentivize more scientists and science-related institutions to get involved in Science Engagement initiatives? How do we make sure that Science Engagement initiatives are also involving hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations? And finally, how can we contribute to a Science Engagement funding landscape that is more impactful and sustainable?

These challenges are being addressed through Commitments to Action (CtAs), which are action-oriented projects developed by Falling Walls Engage community members. In this event, you will be able to learn more about the CtAs developed by the community members Ana Faustino, Bernard Appiah, Julian Ferreras, Kyerewaa Boateng, and Stephanie Okeyo (more information about the speakers below), namely the conclusions they have reached so far and the benefits for the whole community of practitioners.

PUBLIC DISCUSSION ON ZOOM. PLEASE REGISTER.

This is a digital event. If you would like to attend, please book your spot here. Access to the event will be provided after registration by the organiser.

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Ana Faustino

Falling Walls Foundation

Ana Faustino works as Quality Manager at Falling Walls Engage and the International Year of Science Engagement, at the Falling Walls Foundation.

She has more than 7 years of experience with regional, national and international (including experience in EU Horizon projects) science engagement projects/initiatives, at several levels – coordination, design, development, stakeholders participation, implementation, evaluation, impact assessment, and dissemination –, and in different categories (e.g. science outreach, science communication, science education, citizen science) and formats (e.g. participatory and co-creation approaches, educational and empowerment programmes, workshop, conference, festival, panel moderation).

Ana holds a degree in Biology and a Masters in Ecology from the University of Coimbra (Coimbra, Portugal), a PhD in Behavioural Biology (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência & Champalimaud Research & ISPA; Lisbon, Portugal), and developed postdoctoral research in the field of neuroscience (Charité & Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany). As a result of her academic and professional experience, Ana is the author of several scientific papers and book chapters in the fields of social neuroscience/neuroscience and participatory/co-creation research.

Kyerewaa Boateng

UNIVERSITY OF GHANA

Kyerewaa Boateng works with research scientists at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), University of Ghana, as the Community and Public Engagement Officer. She leads several initiatives that seek to bring science closer to the public.

She is passionate about STEM appreciation among girls, as well as global health issues, particularly infectious diseases, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and culturally appropriate science communication in low-income settings.

Kyerewaa has been committed to lead scientists to engage with communities and estimate the level of COVID-19 exposure in Ghana. She is part of the team that has developed a hearing impairment toolkit that is engaging deaf students and their families to understand the genetics of deafness and research. She is also the founder of Girls Attain, a non-profit organisation that empowers girls in small scale mining communities, advocates for their sexual health, improves their livelihoods and makes them ambassadors of climate change.

Bernard Appiah

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Bernard Appiah wears many hats. He is a pharmacist, science journalist, global health scholar, public engagement specialist, and science and health communication scholar and practitioner.

He is an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University Department of Public Health, and founding director of the Centre for Science and Health Communication in Ghana. He serves on the Healthcare Safety and Quality Expert Committee of the United States Pharmacopeia where he is involved in activities that empower patients’ health literacy.  He is also an Associate Fellow of the Australia-based Communication Research Institute.

Bernard’s main research interest is using communication and public engagement approaches to address global health challenges. His science engagement project involving children’s use of storytelling and picture drawing to fight antimicrobial resistance resulted in him being a Falling Walls Engage Winner 2019. His book, Medicines: Using Them Safely, uses storytelling and cartoons to engage readers. He has won several awards or grants including Ghana’s first Young Pharmacist of the Year Award, Wellcome Trust’s International Engagement Award, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations Innovator seed grant, and Grand Challenges Canada’s Stars in Global Health innovator seed grant.

Julian Ferreras

Café Científico Posadas

Julian Ferreras is a scientist at the Institute of Subtropical Biology (UNaM-CONICET) and a professor at the Misiones National University, both in Northeastern Argentina, currently focusing his research in drug discovery from natural products.

But besides his work in the lab, he thinks that knowledge is a collective construction and that everybody in the community can contribute to it. That was the main reason why he started the Posadas Science Cafe in 2013, together with his team, as a way to promote scientific discussion among the general public. With this initiative already incorporated as part of the social culture of the city, they are now trying to move the science discussions to science-based actions by the community, to improve their everyday lives.

Julian holds a degree in Genetics (UNaM, Argentina), a PhD in Molecular Biology (UAM, Spain), and developed doctoral and postdoctoral research in the Microbiology and Immunology Department of the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

Stephanie Okeyo

Under the Microscope

Stephanie Okeyo is a Microbiologist and Science Communicator. She is the founder of Under the Microscope (UtM), a non-profit organization advancing science and innovation infrastructure in Africa by leveraging Education, Societal engagement and Research. UtM initiated Creatives For Science, a community at the core of strengthening an inclusive and diverse science communication and engagement in our society.

Some of Stephanie’s previous professional roles include being the Ambassador of Women in Science, East Africa, and the Representative to the United Nations office, Geneva, at the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT). She is a council member of the Female Genital Mutilation to STEM initiative and an advisory board member of AfricArXiv. In 2019, during the Africa Science Week, she was listed as one of Under 30: Breaking Barriers Women in STEM, and is a 2021 Zuri STEM category nominee.

Stephanie is passionate about empowering young girls and being a voice for gender equality in Science and Technology. Through her work at Under the Microscope, Stephanie is committed to providing collective leadership to drive UtM’s mission and building an African scientific landscape that transforms lives and provides equal opportunities and benefits for every human being.

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