PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Call for proposals for PCST 2020

16th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference

26–28 May 2020, Aberdeen, Scotland

Time, Technology and Transformation

PCST Network announces the call for proposals for its conference to be held in Aberdeen, Scotland, 26–28 May 2020. Submissions can be made at [External link]conference.pcst.co from 12 April 2019; the deadline for proposals is 12 October 2019.

PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology) conferences are held every two years in a collaboration between PCST Network and a host organisation, in this case, University of Aberdeen. The conferences are open to all who have a professional or personal interest in science communication, as practitioners, educators, researchers.

The PCST2020 conference theme is Time, Technology and Transformation, and we encourage proposals that engage with these themes. Aberdeen is a city that has transformed itself through technology and innovation, moving from fishing to major advances across science and technology, including the first full-body MRI, contributions to the discovery of insulin and the identification of endorphins.

Aberdeen is the major hub for oil and gas production in the United Kingdom. It has been home to notable scientists, including James Clerk Maxwell, and hosted major science meetings such as the 1859 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Today the city hosts a vibrant programme of events, venues and activities that connect the public with science and technology including the British Science Festival in 2012, and the annual University May Festival, which will run in the days following PCST2020.

PCST2020 in Aberdeen will be the first PCST conference in the United Kingdom, enabling stronger relations between the global network for science communication and one of the largest and most influential national science communication communities.

We invite submissions that address aspects of the conference theme but we also encourage applications that push the boundaries of discussion around these areas. Here are some examples of possible approaches to the three parts of the conference theme:




Each proposal should be approximately 300 words.  Guidance on how to write a good proposal is published on the conference pages, along with a description of the various formats that are outlined below. The Program Committee reserves the right to re-allocate proposals from one format to another, based on the reviewers' assessment. The official language of the conference is English: all proposals and presentations will be in English.

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the PCST Network Scientific Committee. Everyone who submitted a proposal will be sent an email in mid-December 2019 to advise them if their proposal has been accepted or not.

An individual may submit multiple proposals but participants are limited to a maximum of two presentations. They may, however, be associated with additional contributions to the conference as co-author.

No presenter will be included in the program unless they have registered to attend the conference. There is no need to pay the conference fee when submitting proposals, but to be included in the final program presenters must have registered for the conference and paid the fee. Accepted proposals of registered participants will be included in the conference program to be published as a printed document, electronic document and on the conference website. When submitting a proposal you must accept copyright conditions.

After the conference presenters will be invited to submit a contribution to a special edition of the journal, Research for All. The journal will issue a call for expressions of interest later, with a final deadline for papers of 11 May 2020, allowing authors the opportunity to take into account any discussion at the conference.

The closing date for submitting a proposal is 5pm (GMT) on 12 October 2019. Authors will be able to log in and revise their proposals up to that deadline.

Outlines of conference formats

Roundtable or panel discussion
A session in which up to four participants address a common theme from different angles and perspectives, preferably with an international dimension.
Individual paper
Presentation of original research or in-depth practitioner reflection or evaluation; these will be arranged in thematically connected sessions.
Insight Talks
Exploration of a novel or developing idea; outline of a practical experience and its lessons.
Linked papers
These sessions will feature the presentation of 5 individual papers. They could be research papers or practice reflections coming from a collaboration or shared interest, and will be cross-referenced to each other.
Visual presentations
Visual presentation or table top activity that can be exhibited on the conference web site and/or displayed at the conference venue. Some will be selected for oral presentation and discussion.
Presentation and discussion of innovative science communication practices.