Serbia Rethinkerspace or assemble “whole” out of parts.

WORKSHOP #1 The set-up and thinking about the Serbian Rethinkerspace has not been an easy process. Many questions emerged and the picture of the local ecosystem was not very clear at the beginning.  Who are the science communicators in Serbia? What are the new challenges they have to face in the era of digitalisation? What is their role in raising awareness and bringing science closer to society? How to encourage different stakeholders to be curious and willing to learn new communication skills and get more involved with public dialogue?

Finally we managed to have a great diversity at our first workshop, amongst our participants we had a journalist, an educator, a designer, a science explainer, a DIY scientist, a maker and others. The main goal was to have an open dialogue about the Serbian science communication landscape, to encourage all rethinkers to share their ideas and views about the barriers, motivations, and challenges they have in science communication.

WORKSHOP #2 (held in two sessions). The key outcomes of the two meetings in Serbia showed that science communication, which is the main focus of the RETHINK project, is a paradigm across Europe. One of the biggest challenges we face is time, both personally and on a social level. The lack of time, and it’s emerging as the resource that grows dramatically.

Through the prism of a common global challenge, COVID pandemic, the participants explored the role of science communication from different angles to determine its scope and actors in more detail. Through intensive discussions and interactive exercises, different opinions emerged, and yet reached similar conclusions on two topics. That reveals the complexity of the science communication ecosystem is very much alive.

WORKSHOP #3.(May 26th, 2021). Although the number of participants was lower than expected, we found that the discussion was fruitful and all of the participants contributed. The workshop had a nice flow, with the most positive side being the amount and quality of design questions and the solutions that we found in the ideation room. Research of our volunteers helped a lot with the process of finding those solutions. During the workshop, their contribution and shared experience in reflective practices and active participation in discussions were valuable.

One of the the most useful and interesting things of the worwshop was gathering around the same problem and identifying the emotions that overwhelm us as science communicators in troubled times. As a group, we found that those are the same emotions that each one of us feels, and that is where we found most room to rethink our practices. Discussion in breakout rooms was where reflexivity and openness really got into play. Each of us includes those in one form or another, but sharing our stories was what got us into dialogue about improving one another’s practices.