Titled A Study of Communication in the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (PDF) and written by Jane Morgan Alexander, Gina Svarovsky, Juli Goss, Liz Rosino, Leigh Ann Mesiti, Jenna LeComte-Hinely, and Christine Reich, the 62 pp. study was published April 2012. The executive summary offers a description of the study parameters (p. 4 of the PDF),
A Study of Communication in the NISE Network (Network Communication Study), conducted during the sixth year of the grant, sought to learn how the four primary communication components that were developed in the first 5 years of NISE Net (NanoDays, face-to-face meetings, the regional hub structure, and the nisenet.org website) are functioning within the Network. In particular, the study explored how these components communicate information, ideas, and practices related to NISE Net between and within the three Network tiers.
Using a qualitative approach, 7 focus groups with 24 individuals in Tier 1 and 39 semistructured interviews with professionals in Tiers 2 and 3 were conducted. Only Tier 2 and 3 partners who were actively involved in NISE Net were selected to participate in the study so as to capture the “best case” description of communication within the Network to illustrate how this network optimally functions. Tier 2 and 3 partners were identified as actively engaged if they had hosted or participated in a NanoDays event in the past 3 years and had attended at least one NISE Net professional development offering. Due to these sampling constraints, the study does not draw conclusions about the experience of less involved Network partners.
Given those parameters, here are the conclusions as per the study (p. 4 of the PDF) and as per the description of the study on the NISENet website,
In particular, the following findings emerged from this study:
- NanoDays makes nano content seem “doable.” NanoDays kits, acknowledged by involved partners in all tiers to be a useful representation of the professionalism of the Network, communicate messages about the accessibility of nano content.
- Face-to-face meetings contribute to a sense of NISE Net community. Through face-to-face meetings held throughout the year, Network partners learn general information about NISE Net and develop personal connections with Network peers.
- The regional hub structure provides a personal, go-to resource for professionals in Tiers 2 and 3. The regional hub structure serves as a central resource to disseminate Network updates and respond to partners’ needs.
- The NISE Network website (nisenet.org) is used to convey general information about NISE Net.
In addition to the four primary communication components, some Network partners also use the Nano Bite (NISE Net’s monthly e-newsletter) and social networking groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.
In other news, there are some opportunities for materials research scientists and writers,
→ MRS Fall 2012 Call for Papers
The MRS 2012 Fall Meeting in Boston November 26-30, 2012 is having an Educational Symposium ZZ – Communicating Social Relevancy in Materials Science and Engineering Education. The Call for Papers lists a deadline of June 19, 2012 for abstract submission. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding topics, ancillary events, panel sessions or invited speakers, please contact one of the organizers listed at the end of the Call for Papers announcement.
→ To Think, To Write, To Publish
This two-part, multi-day workshop will bring together emerging writers and early career science and innovation policy scholars – along with creative writing and journalism professors, museum professionals, and editors of mainstream publications to immerse themselves in the art and business of nonfiction storytelling.
Participants will attend workshops in Washington, DC and Tempe, AZ and will be guided for an entire year. Travel expenses to attend the workshops will be paid, along with an honorarium. For complete instructions and details, go to http://www.thinkwritepublish.org/.
Finally, there are two June 2012 nano haikus,
A young man’s finest weapon
Cancer cannot hide
Sune Chunhasuwan of the Museum of Science created the above haiku in reference to the work of Jack Andraka, who developed a method to detect pancreatic cancer using carbon nanotubes.
A Network-wide endeavor.
Here are our findings.
There you have some extracts, the full June 2012 newsletter can be found here.