Lecturer in Science Communication
My work focuses on how people engage with and learn about science, with an emphasis on equity and social justice. My current research explores how to disrupt rather than reproduce social disadvantages in relation to science education, engagement and communication.
Over the past 12 years I have carried out research on science learning and engagement in a variety of settings including science centres, museums, scientific societies and schools.
• Phone: 020 3108 4411
• Office: 22 Gordon Square, room 2.1
• Twitter: @emilyadawson
I am on research leave for the academic year 2017-2018. Modules I have previously led or co-taught in the STS department are listed below.
- HPSC1007 Investigating Science & Society
- HPSC2002 Science & the Mass Media
- MAPS2001, Science Communication
- HPSCGA46, Science, Identities & Social Justice (aka: Science, Technology & Identity on moodle)
- HPSCGA01 Introduction to Science & Technology Studies
*** For prospective PhD students ***
Thank you for your interest in working with me. At the moment I am at capacity with the number of PhDs I can supervise. Until one of them finishes I can't take on any more PhDs (no pressure!). Please consider looking at the rest of our wonderful department and contact our Graduate Tutor (Tiago Mata) for questions about application processes, deadlines etc.
My research focuses on bridging the divides between the political, cultural and social aspects of science education and engagement, with an emphasis on social equity and justice. For example, my research explores where & how people encounter science in their lives, how they feel about those encounters & how such encounters reproduce social inequalities. I am interested in supervising PhDs that explore aspects of science, learning and equity, especially those that focus on intersectional identity issues, social inclusion/exclusion and power in relation to science engagement and learning. For example, one completed PhD student studied how technology mediated learning supported HE students & another explored how gender affects science engagement in schools and informal science learning environments. Current PhD student projects include investigating how gender influences epistemic practices in the sciences, studying comedy in science communication and examining intersectional inequalities in maker spaces.
Click here for details for the Phase 2 Science Learing + Project 'Youth Equity + STEM', that I am a Co-Investigator on.
Click here for details of the Phase 1 Science Learning + Project 'Equity Pathways', that I was a Co-Investigator on.
- Dawson, E. (2018). Reimagining publics and (non)participation: Exploring exclusion from science communication through the experiences of low-income, minority ethnic groups. Public Understanding of Science. Online First. [Blog summary here]
- Dawson, E. (2017). Social Justice and Out-of-School Science Learning: Exploring Equity in Science Television, Science Clubs and Maker Spaces. Science Education. Online First.
- Archer, L., Dawson, E., DeWitt, J., Godec, S., King, H., Mau, A., Nomikou, E. & Seakins, A. (2017). Killing Curiosity? An analysis of celebrated identity performances among teachers and students in nine London secondary science classrooms. Science Education. Online First.
- Archer, L., Dawson, E., DeWitt, J., Godec, S., King, H., Mau, A., Nomikou, E. & Seakins, A., (2017) Using Bourdieu in Practice? Urban Secondary Teachers' and Students' Experiences of a Bourdieusian-Inspired Pedagagical Approach. British Journal of Sociology of Education. Online First.
- Archer, L., Dawson, E., Seakins, A., DeWitt, J., Godec, S., & Whitby, C. (2016). “I’m Being a Man Here”: Urban Boys’ Performances of Masculinity and Engagement With Science During a Science Museum Visit. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 25(3), 438-485.
- Archer, L., Dawson, E., Seakins, A. and Wong, B. (2016). 'Disorienting, Fun or Meaningful? Disadvantaged families' experiences of a science museum visit'. Cultural Studies in Science Education. Online First.
- King, H., Dawson, E. and Leyva, R. (2015). 'Highlighting the Wider Relevance of Science Centre Evaluations: A Reflection on the Evaluation of a Physics Engagement Programme'. Journal of Science Communication.
- Archer, L., Dawson, E., DeWitt, J., Seakins, A. and Wong, B. (2015). ‘Science Capital’: A conceptual, methodological and empirical argument for extending Bourdieusian notions of capital beyond the arts. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Early View. [YouTube film explaining this paper]
- Falk. J., Dawson, E., Dierking, L., Osborne, J., Wenger, M. and Wong, B. (2015) Analyzing science education in the UK: Taking a system-wide approach. Science Education. 99(1): 145-173.
- Dawson. E. (2014). Equity in informal science education: Developing an access & equity framework for science museums and science centres. Studies in Science Education, 50(2): 209-247.[Blog summary here and here and here]
- Dawson. E. (2014). “Not designed for us”: How informal science learning environments socially exclude low-income, minority ethnic groups. Science Education. 98 (6): 981-1008. [Blog summary here and here ]
- Dawson, E. (2014). Reframing social exclusion from science communication: Moving away from ‘barriers’ towards a more complex perspective. Journal of Science Communication. 13(2): C02. [Blog summary here, similar to those above]
- Wilkinson, C., Dawson, E., & Bultitude, K. (2012). ‘Younger people have like, more of an imagination, no offence’: Participant perspectives on public engagement.International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 2(1), 43-61.
- Dawson, E., & Jensen, E. (2011). Towards a 'contextual turn' in visitor studies: Evaluating visiting segmentation and identity-related motivations. Visitor Studies, 14(2), 127-140.
- Jensen, E., Dawson, E., & Falk, J. H. (2011). Dialogue and synthesis: Developing consensus in visitor research methodology. Visitor Studies, 14(2), 158-161.
- Wilkinson, C., Bultitude, K., & Dawson, E. (2011). “Oh yes, robots! People like robots; the robot people should do something”: Perspectives and prospects in public engagement with robotics. Science Communication, 33(3), 367-397.
- Tlili, A. and Dawson, E. 2010. Mediating science and society in the EU and UK: From information-transmission to deliberative democracy? Minerva, 48(4), 429-461.
- Dawson, E., Hill, A., Barlow, J., and Weitkamp, E. (2009). Genetic testing in a drama and discussion workshop: Exploring knowledge construction. Research in Drama Education. 14(3), 361-390.
- Payne, E. and Dawson, E. (2008). Mirror, mirror on the wall: A novel way of engaging lay audiences in thought and discussion about body image and appearance issues. Health Psychology Update. 17(2), 16-20.
Book Chapters & Reports
- Dawson, E. (2016). Chapter 7: When Science is Someone Else's World. Pp. 82-92. In Avraamidou, L. and Roth, W-M. (Eds). Intersections of Formal and Informal Science. London and New York: Routledge. [Blog summary here]
- Tomei, A., Dillon, J. and Dawson, E. (2015). Chapter 10: United Kingdom. Pp.161-177 in Freeman, B., Marginson, S. and Tytler, R. (Eds). The age of STEM: Educational policy and practice across the world in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. London and New York: Routledge.
- Dawson, E., Seakins, A., Archer, L., Calabrese Barton, A., & Dierking, L. (2015). Equity in informal science learning: a practice-research brief (Equity Pathways in Informal STEM Learning). London, UK: King's College London. [Blog summary for all this project's reports here]
- Calabrese Barton, A., Dierking, L., Greenberg, D., Archer, L., Dawson, E., & Seakins, A. (2015). Pathways in informal science learning: a practice-research brief (The Youth Access & Equity in Informal Science Learning (ISL) project). London, UK: King's College London.
- Dierking, L., Archer, L., Dawson, E., Calabrese Barton, L., Greenberg, D., & Seakins, A. (2015). Research & practice agenda: equity pathways in informal STEM learning (The Youth Access & Equity in Informal Science Learning (ISL) project). London, UK: King's College London.
- Seakins, A., Archer, L., Calabrese Barton, L., Dierking, L., Dawson, E. & Bonebrake, V. (2015). Science Learning+ Youth Equity Pathways in Informal Science Learning: Survey findings (The Youth Access & Equity in Informal Science Learning (ISL) project). London, UK: King's College London.
- Archer, L., Seakins, A., Dawson, E., Calabrese Barton, A., Greenberg, D., & Dierking, L. (2015). Youth equity pathways in informal science learning (The Youth Access & Equity in Informal Science Learning (ISL) project). London, UK: King's College London.
- King, H., Dillon, J., Dawson, E. and Osborne, C. (2014). Explore your universe: Final evaluation report. London: King’s College London.
- Falk, J., Osborne, J., Dierking, L., Dawson, E., Wenger, M., and Wong, B. (2012).Analysing the UK Science Education Community: The contribution of informal providers. London: Wellcome Trust.
- Cavell, S., Dawson, E. and Featherstone F. (2011). Roundtable for Advancing the Profession: Assessing the impact of Science and Discovery Centres. http://www.at-bristol.org.uk/assets/files/At-Bristol%20RAP%20report.pdf, accessed 5.12.12.
- Dawson, E. (2009). On constructing collaborations between engineers, designers and publics. Pp. 132-136 in Kerridge T., Beaver J. and Pennington S. (Eds.). Material Beliefs. London: Goldsmiths University.
- Dawson, E. (2016). Book review. "Museums, Heritage and Indigenous Voice: Decolonizing Engagement". Visitor Studies. 19(1): 117-119.
- Dawson, E. (2014). Book review. “Who’s Asking? Native Science, Western Science, and Science Education”. Journal of Science Communication. 13(3): R02.
- Dawson, E. and DeWitt, J. (2013). Design-based research: A way to frame our collaborative process. Enterprising Science Research Briefs Series, ES02.
- Dawson, E. (2013). Developing inclusive informal science education practice: Useful concepts from research. Enterprising Science Research Briefs Series, ES01.
- Dawson, E. (2013). What is Science Communication? Catalyst: Secondary Science Review. 24 (1): 4-5.
- Dawson, E. (2013). Working in Science Communication. Catalyst: Secondary Science Review. 24 (1): 6-8.
- Dawson, E. (2012). “I couldn’t think of anything worse than going there to be honest”; Science museums, science centres and non-participation. Informal Learning Review. July – August (115): 1-6.
- Dawson, E. (2011). Academic book review. Engaging Science Policy: From the Side of the Messy. International Journal of Science Education, 33(12), 1741-1743.
- Dawson, E. (2011). Display Case: Whose museum? Museum. American Association of Museums. July/August, 25-58.
- Semple, R., Dawson, E. and Deheragoda, M. (2009). Outreach project: Evaluation and reflections. The Bulletin. The Royal College of Pathologists. 149, 172-173.
Blog posts & podcasts
- Challenging social exclusion in science communication. On the Public Understanding of Science blog. January 15th 2018.
- Science for some but not for all: Launchpad, Wonderlab and Gallery Entry Fees at the Science Museum. On the Engaging Research blog. August 2016.
- Meet Fatima: Stories of Social Exclusion & Science. On the Sciencegrrl blog. April 2016.
- Equity Pathways in Informal STEM Learning. On the CAISE, Informal Science Project Spotlights Blog. January 2016.
- 'Museums and the reproduction of disadvantage'. On the Incluseum blog. March 2015
- 'Why think about equity and museums'. On the Incluseum blog. March 2015.
- 'Challenging oppression in museums'. On the Incluseum blog. March 2015.
- 'How to lose publics and alienate people’. On the Engaging Research blog, 23rd October, 2013. (Watching this will save you having to read at least two of my papers!)
- Brain Train #9 - Joanne Cole and Emily Dawson Joanne Cole asks Science Education expert Emily Dawson why there aren’t more women whizz physicists. 2014.
- Brain Train #10 - Emily Dawson and Alexandra Lamont Sociologist Emily Dawson asks Music Psychologist Alexandra Lamont why Bourdieu, Jolene and Natalie Merchant make her cry. Extra long episode of Brain Train this time, as host and editor Martin Zaltz Austwick could not bring himself to cut out any more fascinating music chat. Saucer of biscuits Alice Bell was otherwise engaged, Brain Train went hungry. 2014.
- Playing policy top-trumps: Is there a better way to inform policy?’ On the Involve blog. January 2013 (This is about research methods for education policy).