London PUS Seminar 4.15pm Wednesday 5thJune 2019
Edd Bankes, Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL.
A scientist walks into a bar: science comedy and the professionalization of the science communicator
Drawing from ethnographic work with a science communication training scheme in London centred around comedy performance, this talk explores the heterogenous practices, identities and understandings of science and science communication that structured and were structured the process whereby participants learnt what it meant to be a science communicator. Employing a Communities of Practice and Figured Worlds approach, the talk will argue that where collaborative practice through comedy allowed participant to build a strongly bound community, understandings of the purpose of science communication and the identity of the good science communicator were primarily defined through the demands placed on cohort members to participate in the community. Rather than employing generic notions of ‘science’ or the ‘public’ to mediate these imaginaries, a good science communicator was primarily understood as a good member of the cohort. The talk will conclude by considering the transferability of these imaginaries, locating the scheme within the broader field of science communication to consider how far this training allowed participants to become a ‘professional’.
Deadline: June 5, 2019