Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission

Abstract submission is now open - and the Call for Proposals is below - so get your thinking caps on to come up with the best set of submissions for PCST yet!

The PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology) Network announces the call for proposals for its next conference, to be held in Aberdeen, Scotland, 27 – 29 May 2025. The global PCST Network is a professional networking and career development space for researchers, students, and practitioners who are involved in exploring or doing public communication of science.

We invite science and technology communication researchers and practitioners to submit proposals for this conference, in line with the theme and guidelines below. Please submit your proposals via the online submission system no later than 7 September 2024 (17:00 BST).


PCST 2025 Conference Theme

The theme for the 2025 Conference is ‘Science communication for positive change: exploring transitions, traditions, and tensions.’

In our work as science communicators, we are influenced by transitions, traditions, and tensions. In 2025, the PCST Conference will bring us together to discuss how science communication can make a positive impact in our evolving world, particularly in the face of challenges like the climate crisis, global health concerns, and poverty.

The conference will focus on three main themes:

  • Transitions: We invite contributions that delve into the dynamics of change and stability in science communication. This includes transitions within organisations (e.g. universities) and groups (e.g. community organisations), power dynamics, advancements in science, technology, environmental sustainability, health and well-being, fairness, and aspects of cultures, citizenship, governance, and identity.
  • Traditions: The theme of traditions encompasses the old, current, and new aspects of science and technology communication. We welcome submissions that explore how different forms of knowledge coexist, complement, or contradict each other. This can include perspectives on people, technologies, histories, and future developments in science and technology communication.
  • Tensions: The tension theme examines how disputes and consensus influence science and technology communication. We encourage submissions that explore various tensions, such as theory versus practice, academics versus professionals, scientists versus citizens, expertise versus lived experience, different forms of knowledge production, communication versus engagement, and various forms of capital.

By addressing these themes, we aim to better understand the role of science and technology communication in navigating a changing world and driving positive transformations.

About PCST Conferences

Biennial PCST conferences provide a meeting place for the global community of practitioners, educators, and researchers in the diverse and growing field of science and technology communication and engagement. These gatherings incorporate elements of academic and professional conferences, including presentations of research, reflections on practice, and practical workshops and demonstrations. The conferences are open to all who have a professional or personal interest in science communication, as practitioners, educators, researchers, or in any combination of these roles. During PCST conferences, science communication researchers and practitioners jointly explore the evolving relationship between science and society, and reflect on the evolving relationship between science communication research and practice.

The 2025 conference will be the 18th event of its kind and is hosted by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, UK.

Important guidelines for authors

  • The official language of the conference is English. All proposals should be submitted in English, and all presentations, posters, and other related materials should be presented in English.
  • Your proposal should be concise (maximum 300 words per contribution) and must adhere to the maximum length indicated in each template.
  • Please note that conference participants are restricted to making no more than two presentations in the conference, regardless of format. This means, for example, that someone accepted for presentation of an individual paper and of a demonstration, may not then be a panellist in a roundtable discussion. Therefore, an individual may submit multiple proposals, but in the construction of the programme participants are limited to a maximum of two presentations. However, anyone may be associated with additional contributions as non-presenting co-authors.  Note: Authors can submit a maximum of 3 submissions for review.  The pre-conference workshops do not count as part of the main conference programme, so one author could present a maximum of 1 workshop and 2 presentations.
  • Authors will be able to log in via the online submission system and revise their proposals up to the submission deadline, which is 7 September 2024 at 17:00 (GMT). Accepted authors will also be able to make minor revisions to their proposals to improve/update them until about four weeks before the conference.
  • No presenter will be included in the programme unless they have registered and paid to attend the conference by 31 January 2025. There is no need to pay the conference fee when submitting a proposal, but to be included in the final programme, presenters must have registered for the conference and paid the registration fee.
  • Accepted proposals of registered participants will be included in the conference programme to be published as a printed document, electronic document and on the conference website, as well as in the conference archive. When submitting a proposal, you are accepting these conditions.

Guidance on the use of AI tools for PCST Conferences

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are used to create scientific documents, including conference contributions. PCST acknowledges that these tools can assist in helping to improve language, structure and the production of text. We make the following recommendations to ensure appropriate, mindful and ethical use of AI tools to prepare abstracts, presentations and publications relating to the communication of science and technology:

  • AI tools cannot be included as authors of abstracts, presentations, demonstrations, artwork, performances or publications (following the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics
  • Authors must disclose the use of AI tools used in the creation of abstracts, presentations, demonstrations, artwork, performances or publications 
  • AI tools will not be used to assess the quality of submissions. Reviewers are personally responsible and accountable for manuscript evaluation. 

On-site and online possibilities for participating in PCST-2025

PCST-2025 may offer both an on-site and a (limited) online experience.

The conference will predominantly be an in-person event, however, we anticipate that we will run some virtual elements either prior to the conference or as a stream of the conference for virtual attendees only – these may be available post conference to all attendees – virtual and in-person.  There will be no hybrid sessions.

Presentation Formats

Individual talks (10 minutes)

Individual papers present original research or in-depth practitioner reflections or evaluations. These will be arranged in thematically connected sessions. If you would like to link papers together in one session this can be indicated in the submission system.

Visual presentations (poster/demonstration/art work and 3 minute talk)

These are highly visual presentations, artworks, or table-top activities that can be exhibited on the conference website and/or displayed at the conference venue; some may be selected for a 3 minute oral presentation and discussion. These can involve completed work or be topics to stimulate debate and input into new projects.

Discussions and debates (75 minutes)

A session in which between 3 – 4 participants address a common theme from different angles and perspectives, preferably with an international dimension.

Performances and storytelling (30 minutes)

Performances of theatrical or musical pieces on scientific topics relevant to the conference themes that take up to a maximum of 30 minutes to present. Please indicate the amount of time required for your performance and the way you intend to engage with participants, as well as your technical requirements.


These can take place the day before the main conference and can be up to half a day in length. These should be practical, hands-on, or discussion-based. They can be on any theme but professional development workshops may take place the day before the official conference begins. Please indicate the amount of time required for your workshop, maximum/minimum group size, learning objectives, and the way you intend to engage with participants, alongside technical requirements.

Review process

  • All submitted proposals will be reviewed by members of the PCST scientific committee, with a minimum of two reviewers per proposal.
  • The committee reserves the right to re-allocate proposals from one format to another, based on the reviewers' assessment.
  • Reviewers may reject a proposal because it does not meet the criteria set out below and/or because is not relevant to the public communication of science, or the overall theme of the conference.
  • Proposals should be comprehensible for a mixed audience of researchers and practitioners.
  • If, during the review process, revisions are invited, the revised proposal must be sent back within three weeks.
  • The authors of all successful proposals will be notified in November 2024. Notices of acceptance or rejection will be sent to the primary author.
  • The decisions of the PCST scientific committee are final. There is no appeals process for abstract submission.


Our criteria for reviewing proposals

Members of the PCST scientific committee will apply the following criteria when reviewing proposals:

  • Relevance to conference theme
  • Mutual interest and relevance to researchers and practitioners (i.e. linking theory and practice)
  • Academic rigour (for research papers) and practical relevance (for contributions related to practice)
  • The overall quality of the proposal in terms of its clarity and cohesion
  • The extent to which the proposal contributes to original thinking, new evidence, and/or reflections or novel approaches in research or practice
  • The quality of the proposed interaction with conference participants

Additional information:

Writing tips for a good proposal

Remember you are writing for two different audiences. The first audience is the people who will review your proposal, i.e. the members of the PCST scientific committee. Your aim is to convince them that your proposal is important, original, and relevant. The second audience is the participants of the PCST conference – a mix of science communication scholars, practitioners, students, and lecturers. Ask yourself: Why would they be interested in coming to my session? Make sure you include the following in your proposal:

  • A title that is interesting and inviting enough to 'hook' the reader
  • Clarity about the contribution your topic makes to science communication research or practice
  • A statement of what is new, original, topical, or significant about your topic
  • Detail about how you intend to engage the audience