• Building Bridges Through Conversation: The ScienceTapes Project
    • Bob Bolton (IARC)
    • November 02, 2018

Abstract

In collaboration with StoryCorps, the ScienceTapes project was launched in late June 2017. The ScienceTapes’ mission statement is: “ScienceTapes records and shares Alaska’s science and place-based stories to build bridges between people, communities, agencies, and scientists; helping inform our decisions to support a better tomorrow.” Within the mission, the ScienceTapes thematic areas of interest are: 1. Co-production of science; 2. Co-projection of knowledge; 3. Changing landscape, climate, and wildlife; 4. Engineering, technology, and energy; and 5. Humanity of science.

On June 27-30 2017, StoryCorps trained 12 research collaborators from Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau with different research interests (climate change, changing habitats, transportation, science communication, etc) on how to facilitate and record conversations, operate equipment, and archive conversations.

Since the initial training period, the ScienceTapes team has facilitated 66 conversations, and all are currently archived with StoryCorps and at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Of the 66 recorded conversations, 10 have been edited to shorter segments (typically 3-5 minutes) and are accessible on the ScienceTapes website. ScienceTapes has recorded a wide-array of people including research scientists, students (all levels from elementary to graduate students), decision makers, resource managers, engineers, rural community members, politicians, Alaskan elders (rural and urban), film makers, media personnel, etc.

For the broader UAF community and its many outside research collaborators and stakeholders, this project represents a novel way to document the many voices of science and the impacts of climate change in Alaska. Since its inception, ScienceTapes has set up a listening station at the Climate Science Center All Hands Meeting, University of Alaska’s Museum of the North Family Day and the Alaska Forum on the Environment.

The ScienceTapes project will be expanding the project’s focus to increase the accessibility to the Alaskan public (e.g., non-scientists). The ScienceTapes project will become an initiative (sub-project) of a larger umbrella project called “AlaskaVoices.”


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  • Fairbanks, AK 99775-5910, USA