STEAM research group partners with international institutions to bring together STEM and communications

28 May 2021

The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) research group at the University of Westminster has signed an agreement with Campus Iberus, the University of Zaragoza and a number of other universities to be an international partner to research what brings together STEM and communication subject areas.

The STEAM research group, which includes Doug Specht of CAMRI, conducts empirical, descriptive, and pedagogical research with a focus on how communication of new knowledge in STEAM subjects is disseminated. Their work is particularly focused on the changes in language, meaning and semiotic resources that scientific knowledge undergoes when disseminated in different media, and they aim to better understand how these changes affect public engagement with STEAM disciplines.

The action group ‘Digital Science’, which was set up by Professor Carmen Pérez-Llantada from the University of Zaragoza, aims to blend STEAM and communications subject areas. It embraces relevant studies on digital science communication to explain how traditional genres of science have evolved when they have been moved to web environments, and how new digital genres have emerged in response to new social needs.

Due to current concerns towards environmental threats and global health issues, namely due to the COVID-19 crisis, ‘Digital Science’ have identified a number of important challenges in science communication online that they hope to overcome. These include understanding how and why researchers share their research data and make their results reproduceable for the advancement of scientific discoveries, and how and why researchers build trust in science and what communication strategies are used to engage the public in scientific processes.

Within the Digital Science Action Group, the team have set up a number of working groups to facilitate their goals, and have gained support and recognition from Campus Iberus, a strategic alliance set up in 2010 between four Spanish public universities. This support will allow the group to access funding from a diverse number of funders, including the EU.

Talking about the new partnership, Dr Julio Gimenez, Head of the STEAM research group, said: “As the STEAM research group of the University of Westminster, we are delighted to have been invited to join this interdisciplinary team of researchers interested in digital science. The team brings together colleagues from the University of Zaragoza and Navarra in Spain, Oslo Metropolitan University in Norway, Bucharest University of Economic Studies in Romania and Blaise Pascal University in France and members of the University of Westminster STEAM research group.”

Professor Alex Hughes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Employability), said: “At the University of Westminster we are proud to be a welcoming, diverse and inclusive organisation. Our global engagement activity is key to that. Our overseas students, colleagues, alumni and collaborations are vital to who we are and what we do. We are delighted that this is reflected in STEAM’s partnership with the Digital Science action group.”

Find out more about the STEAM research group at Westminster.

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