Assessing the impact of Agora-funded projects over the past 10 years: A content analysis of the impact of scientists’ public communication

Science communication can address different audiences, pursue different goals, and use different measures to do so. As such, science communication can have positive and negative, long-term and short-term, intended or non-intended, social, technological or educational effects. Accordingly, the impact of science communication has been widely discussed – but to date, surprisingly not too many studies have systematically examined the impact of science communication over time.

The research project aims to fill this gap and focuses on science communication projects by scientists. It draws on a dataset of more than 200 research projects that received funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) under the Agora funding scheme. The aim of the Agora scheme is to encourage researchers to promote dialogue between scientists and society.

The project uses quantitative content analysis to analyze the impacts, outcomes, and outputs of the Agora-funded science communication projects based on project descriptions, project proposals, and final reports. The results will offer a fine-grained understanding of the long-term impact of science communication projects and reveal differences over time, across disciplines, and project characteristics. The project will also derive practical implications for funding agencies and researchers by showing what appropriate impact measurement of science communication should look like and what evaluation methods and metrics can be considered.

Runtime: 2022

Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

Participants: Principal investigator: Dr. Sophia C. Volk (UZH)

Total Funds: 24,822 CHF