Special Call for Proposals on COVID-19 Crisis and Science Communication


PCST Network announces a special call for proposals for its rescheduled conference, to be held in Aberdeen, Scotland, 25-27 May 2021. This special call reflects the circumstances in which it became necessary to postpone the planned 2020 conference. It is focused on the Covid-19 pandemic and its implications for science communication.

Submissions already received and approved for the planned PCST 2020 conference remain valid, though there will be an opportunity later this year for proposers to update their content, or amend the named presenters. Of course, proposers will also have the option to withdraw their submission, if they cannot attend or now have other plans for their presentation. Conference registrations made and confirmed for PCST2020 will be carried forward to the 2020+1 event.

The conference’s overall theme remains Time, Technology and Transformation, but we now invite proposals that address the COVID-19 crisis. Preferably, these might relate to one or more of the following topics, but this is not an absolute requirement:

  • The challenges of communicating the complexities and uncertainties of the new coronavirus and public perception of those dimensions;
  • The impacts of the crisis on scientists’ standing in society, given the multiple scientific perspectives and the politicisation of the crisis;
  • The rapid emergence of ‘star’, ‘hero’ and ‘celebrity’ scientists and their role in public health messaging

A 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 available. The Programme Committee reserves the right to re-allocate proposals from one format to another, based on the reviewers' assessment.

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the PCST Scientific Committee. Everyone who submitted a proposal will be sent an email by early December 2020 to advise them if their proposal has been accepted or not.

Participants will be limited to a maximum of two oral presentations in the final programme, though they may be associated with additional contributions as co-author. So, if someone now submitting a proposal under this special call already has two presentations approved, they will have to withdraw one, if their Covid-19-related proposal is also successful.

Presenters will be included in the final programme only if they have registered to attend the conference. There is no need to pay the conference fee when submitting proposals.

The closing date for submitting a proposal is 11.59pm (GMT) on Monday 12 October 2020. Authors will be able to log in and revise their proposals up to that deadline.