Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference 2020  

Submission for the main programme is closed.

The deadline for workshops, speakers' corner and performance submissions is 17.00 GMT on 1 December 2019.

We invite submissions that address aspects of the conference theme of Transformation through Time and Technology, 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:


  • Science communication practices and studies, past, present and future
  • Communicating scientific conceptions of time e.g. cosmological, geological or biological
  • The changing relationship over time between science and the arts and humanities


  • Applications of new media, data and artificial intelligence technologies in science communication
  • Communicating technology advances and their social implications
  • Technoscience as the contemporary face of scientific development


  • Factors that shape transformations of science-society relations
  • Transforming relations between science communication practice and research
  • Widening participation in research to realise research for all

Each proposal should be approximately 300 words.  Guidance on how to write a good proposal is available, and description of the various formats are outlined below. The Programme 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 programme 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.

Presenters will also have the opportunity to be part of the University of Aberdeen's May Festival, a three day event with over 100 activities including opportunities for the public the change to explore and discuss current research through workshops, exhibitions, debates and talks.

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 for a Performance, Workshop or Speakers' Corner is 23.59 on 1 December 2019. Authors will be able to log in and revise their proposals up to that deadline.

The conference is open to all who have a professional or personal interest in science communication, as practitioners, educators, researchers.


Speakers' Corner, Performances and Workshops

These formats will not be part of the initial call for proposals. Instead, separate calls will be made for proposals, which will be curated by members of the PCST Program and/or Local Organising committees.


    1. Speakers’ Corner - five-minute informal presentations of an experience, activity or argument relevant to science communication staged outside formal conference spaces, e.g. during tea breaks
    2. Performances of theatrical or musical pieces on scientific topics relevant to the conference themes (maximum 30 minutes)
    3. Workshops to be held on the day before the conference; these may range in length from 90 minutes to four hours and should be practical, hands-on or discussion-based. Proposals to run professional development workshops are especially encouraged.



Submissions are handled by Oxford Abstracts, the link will take you to their site where you can register and submit your proposal.


Unconference - 75 minute sessions where topics of discussion will be decided by the attendees within the session. Although unstructured in topic, delegates will be guided by session leads. There will not be a call for proposals but delegates will have the opportunity to submit ideas for topics at the conference itself and/or via social media.

Round-table Discussions

Roundtable discussions are 75-minute sessions of maximum four speakers addressing a common theme, preferably from different angles (e.g. practical and theoretical) and international perspectives.  At least 50 minutes should be devoted to discussion between the panellists, with short initial statements and the emphasis on interaction. Names, affiliations and contact details of all speakers and a short summary of what they will bring to the discussion need to be included with the proposal. The proposal should nominate chair/s for the session. It is recommended that two co-chairs, offering different perspectives, be named.

Linked Papers

​​​​​​​Linked papers are presented in 75-minute sessions with a maximum of five speakers around a common theme, e.g. arising from a research or practice collaboration.  Each speaker should present their paper for a maximum of 12 minutes so there is time for discussion. Names and details of all speakers and an abstract of the combined session should be included in the proposal along with a short title for the session. Each of the papers for such a session should be subject of a separate proposal by the author or authors, which should refer to the title of the proposed linked paper session. A chair should be nominated for the session.

Individual Papers

​​​​​​​Individual papers are presented in 75-minute sessions for which accepted proposals will be thematically grouped by the Program Committee.  Such papers are expected to offer perspectives on topics relevant to the conference themes from completed research and/or theoretical reflection and/or analysis of practice. The papers may have single or multiple authors; the proposal should be made in the name of the person who will present the paper. Speakers will have a maximum of 12 minutes for presentation.  

Insight Talks

Insight talks are short, focused contributions in 75-minute sessions that explore the conference themes through:

  1. New ideas, in which speakers present work in progress on research or practice, including ideas under development or that have yet to be implemented.
  2. Practice insights, in which speakers describe, demonstrate and/or evaluate specific science communication practices

Accepted proposals will be thematically grouped by the Program Committee. Speakers will have a maximum of eight minutes to speak and answer a few questions.


​​​​​​​Demonstrations run in 75-minute sessions, presenting innovative science communication practices with a commentary on their application and effectiveness, and with time given for discussion. For example, a session might demonstrate new ways of setting up a science blog or exhibit and gaining an audience. Names and details of all speakers (maximum five) and a summary of what each brings to the demonstration should be included in the proposal, which should also nominate the chair for the session.

Visual Presentations

​​​​​​​Visual presentations explore topics relevant to the conference themes visually, e.g. through a poster, photo, infographic, video clip or other means that can be displayed for the duration of the conference. Proposers should also be prepared to make a short oral presentation (maximum five minutes). Specific guidelines for visual presentations will be sent to successful proponents.