Engaging rural Australian communities in national science week helps increase visibility for women researchers

Hardy, Margaret C., Desselle, Mathilde R., Allen, Jennifer, Andrews, Katherine T., Barrington, Dani J., Borg, Danielle, Butler, Kaylene, Calvin, Rebecca, Cooper, Tarni Louisa, Furlong, Emily, Hugo, Honor, Johnston, Elecia, Iacona, Gwenllian, Kenkel, Carly, Kuempel, Caitlin, Khosla, Amie, Langbecker, Danette, Liddle, Jacki, Lucia, Diana, Lussini, Vanessa, Nazareth, Lynne, Peel, Alison, Saunders, Megan, Smith, Meaghan, and Valesquez, Johana Tello (2017) Engaging rural Australian communities in national science week helps increase visibility for women researchers. Royal Society Open Science, 4 (10). 170548.

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During a week-long celebration of science, run under the federally supported National Science Week umbrella, the Catch a Rising Star: women in Queensland research (CaRS) programme flew scientists who identify as women to nine regional and remote communities in the Australian State of Queensland. The aim of the project was twofold: first, to bring science to remote and regional communities in a large, economically diverse state; and second, to determine whether media and public engagement provides career advancement opportunities for women scientists. This paper focuses on the latter goal. The data show: (i) a substantial majority (greater than 80%) of researchers thought the training and experience provided by the programme would help develop her career as a research scientist in the future, (ii) the majority (65%) thought the programme would help relate her research to end users, industry partners or stakeholders in the future, and (iii) analytics can help create a compelling narrative around engagement metrics and help to quantify influence. During the week-long project, scientists reached 600 000 impressions on one social media platform (Twitter) using a program hashtag. The breadth and depth of the project outcomes indicate funding bodies and employers could use similar data as an informative source of metrics to support hiring and promotion decisions. Although this project focused on researchers who identify as women, the lessons learned are applicable to researchers representing a diverse range of backgrounds. Future surveys will help determine whether the CaRS programme provided long-term career advantages to participating scientists and communities.

Item ID: 53989
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2054-5703
Keywords: altmetrics; career advancement; career development; equity; research; social media
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Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Australian Government (AG), Education Queensland, Kowanyama Community
Projects and Grants: AG 2016 Science Week NSWGA-97
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2018 02:01
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390301 Continuing and community education @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440710 Research, science and technology policy @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4405 Gender studies > 440599 Gender studies not elsewhere classified @ 40%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939903 Equity and Access to Education @ 100%
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