What is the relevance of science education to public engagement with science?
The main goal of science education in recent decades is educating scientifically literate people, who make informed science-based decisions in their personal and social lives. However, this is more of a normative statement than supported by evidence.
My work in the last few years focused on how science literacy, at the individual and society level, shapes public engagement with science. On the individual level, I am interested in the ways that such expressions of science literacy are an outcome of school science and may result in informed evidence-based science-related decisions in adult life. On the society-level, I am interested in structural factors, such as the availability of quality science-related information online and the ability and motivation of scientists to communicate their research to diverse publics.
I am fortunate that these research interests also perfectly fit the leitmotif of my teaching and practice - the ambition for enhancing public engagement with science and with scientists. My training in science education (Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science) and science communication (Marie Curie fellow, Cornell University) alongside my considerable experience as a journalist, editor, and a TV presenter (1999-2008) have together shaped my commitment to evidence-based practice and research in science communication and education.
Today I am a Full Professor at the Faculty of Education in Science and Technology at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and head the “Applied Science Communication” research group. I have founded the Israeli Science Communication Conference series, and served as an elected member of the scientific committee of the Public Communication of Science and Technology Network (PCST, 2016-2021), which aims to improve science communication worldwide.
I am also a member of the Advisory Board for the US National Academy of Sciences’ LabX public engagement program, was elected member of the Israel Young Academy (2016-2020), and served as Chairwoman of its Communication Committee. I am also a member of the Israeli Center of Research Excellence on “Taking Citizen Science to School,” among other professional activities.
My research focuses on bridging science education and science communication scholarship, asking in what ways do science education support public engagement with science in adult life, and supporting scientists in becoming effective science communicators.
I have published extensively in the leading journals in both science education and science communication, and served as an Editorial board member on both the highest impact science education journal – Journal of Research in Science Teaching [JRST] (Editorial board member 2010-2012, associate editor 2013-2014) and the highest impact science communication journal – Public Understanding of Science [PUS] (2020-). Recently, I received the Higher Education Award for a Young Faculty Member for an exceptional contribution to society and the community in Israel from the Council of Higher Education (2021).
- Direct PhD program. 2001-2008, Department of Science Teaching, Feinberg Graduate School of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
- Master Program in Social Sciences and Humanitarian Affairs. 2005-2006, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. Israeli-Palestinian cooperation program promoted by UNESCO
- B.Sc. 1998-2001, Research program for outstanding students of the Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel