Tools to support scientists involvement in EPO and science education research
Like all professionals, scienists spend years becoming an expert in their fields of research, but not necessarily at teaching or presenting their work to non-‐specialist audiences. However, they are often called on to give classroom talks, teach courses, and interact at public events. In addition, many grant funding agencies now require an education and public outreach component to bring the results of front-line science to the general public in a meaningful way. In addition, evidence of effectiveness as an teacher and thoughtful reflection on educational practice are standard requirements in promotion and tenure applications. In the highly competitive environment of academia, serious engagement with education can thus give a researcher a leg up in his or her research practice and career, beyond the obvious benefits to teaching, university and professional service such engagement may have. A particularly powerful way to create EPO and science education research is by close collaboration between scientists, educators and EPO specialists. Such a collaboration can lead to very high quality EPO and (educational) research outputs, reaching a broader and more diverse audience than they could have reached individually and can help inform practice across all settings, lead to stronger proposals, and strengthen education research studies.