Dundee Science Centre’s (DSC's) vision is a culture of curiosity, confidence and engagement with science for the community of Tayside. Our mission includes widening community engagement with science, and creating a culture of lifelong learning. This specific PlayDecide project aims to catalyse the creation of a network for city-wide use of PlayDecide for dialogue about science topics relevant to the Tayside Community.
Dundee is a city of international significance in scientific discovery. DSC offers a range of science learning and public engagement programmes, which provide lifelong learning opportunities and facilitates engagement between research scientists and the wider community. DSC has worked in recent years to extend its accessibility for hard-to-reach audiences including adults and teenagers, but promoting accessibility for populations within the lower socio-economic groups remains challenging. This project aims to engage new audiences with science discussions.
PlayDecide is an excellent free resource, which has the potential to be widely used at a community level in Dundee. However, in order to use the resource, individuals must feel empowered to do so. Individuals must be enabled to hold discussions with peers, feeling confident about the materials and ways to ‘get started’. Dundee Science Centre will facilitate this empowerment by bottom-up community engagement with PlayDecide rather than imposing specific events.
DSC will act as facilitator and catalyst to ignite interest in PlayDecide, empower use of the resources, and support pilot PlayDecide discussions in the community. DSC has experience of facilitating debate and discussion activities for teenagers, and delivering discussion CPD for teachers and scientists. DSC science communication staff will work with the resources to build familiarity and a high level of knowledge and ability within our own team. We will then work with and support community leaders and citizens to use PlayDecide. We will work toward enabling citizens to hold their own PlayDecide discussions according to their own interests. We will also facilitate linkage with relevant experts so that citizens can involve expert scientists if and when desired.
Having developed internal expertise and ability in use of PlayDecide, DSC will invite community centre staff, community leaders and interested citizens to attend a PlayDecide discussion at the science centre. This will be held in the informal coffee shop atmosphere, and accompanied by refreshments, to create an enjoyable, accessible social event. Following this event, those interested in holding similar events in their own community centre will be invited to a training session, at which DSC staff will share expertise in facilitating discussions, and build individuals’ confidence and familiarity with the resources. Subsequently, trainees will hold initial PlayDecide discussions in their own community. DSC staff will attend, support, or facilitate as required, to help community centre representatives at this trial stage. The emphasis is on helping citizens and community representatives to hold their own discussions, but for DSC staff to help as far as is needed.
Community Centre staff, community leaders and interested citizens should contact Linda Leuchars, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dundee City Council Leisure and Communities Department
Outreach and Public Engagement Network, North East Scotland
Solar Cities Scotland