Workshops on Criterion 2

Three members (Holbrook, Frodeman, and Mitcham) of the core group of scholars associated with the Humanities/Policy site recently put together and submitted a proposal to NSF for a workshop on “Assessing the Broader Societal Impact of Funding Techno-scientific Research.”  You can read our project summary by clicking here.  

There have been several workshops specifically concerned with “how to” address Criterion 2, most of which have focused on efforts to increase education and public outreach (EPO) activities.  Listed below you will find links to their sites (where available), as well as a brief review of what you will find when you go there.

"How-to" Workshops:
“Making a Broader Impact: Geoscience Education, Public Outreach, and Criterion 2” was held in Berkeley, California on May 11-13, 2005.  They have an extensive and interesting report on the workshop, which is available for download.  This workshop focused on satisfying Criterion 2 by integrating EPO activities with scientific research, but in particular with research in the geosciences.  There is also a somewhat hidden link to a later (2006) workshop under “Related Links,” and an interesting link called “Info Exchange” that transfers one to a site “to test the idea of building a community database of and for professionals who work in the area of the Broader Impacts Activities in the Geosciences.”  Overall this site is highly recommended for geoscientists, but should also prove helpful for EPO professionals and for other scientists and engineers.  You can visit the main site for the original workshop by clicking here.

A “Broader Impacts Toolbox Workshop” was held in Arlington, Virginia on May 16-17, 2005.  This workshop was designed specifically as a planning session to develop, as the title suggests, a set of tools to allow scientists and engineers to satisfy Criterion 2.  The most helpful link for visitors is that for “Resources” -- the strength of this site is the list of known resources for scientists and engineers on integrating EPO activities with their research.  Its particular weakness (one that it shares with most of the other “how to” sites) is that it tends to conflate EPO activities with broader impacts, so that it tends not to discuss other “tools” for satisfying Criterion 2.  Nevertheless, it seems to be a work in progress.  You can visit this site by clicking here.

“The Science House – Broader Impacts” was held on December 12, 2005 at North Carolina State University.  This site is oriented in particular toward offering some references for scientists and engineers interested in learning about EPO activities involving grades K-12. You can visit this site by clicking here.

“Algae and the Broader Impacts of Science” was held as part of the annual meeting of the Phycological Society of America in Juneau, Alaska on July 7 –12, 2006.  This site is really into the spirit of Criterion 2: “Every high school and college student, teacher and professor, administrator and legislator, should know what algae are and why they are economically important to society. We as phycologists have not promoted our science as well as we should, but now we have an opportunity, and a requirement, to do so.”  Very cool.  Obviously, this site may be most helpful to phycologists – but we highly recommend it to other scientists and engineers as an example of “how to” embrace Criterion 2, as well as how to move beyond a consideration of EPO activities (not that there’s anything wrong with EPO).  As of yet, it’s still a work in progress, but they promise to publish the workshop proceedings, as well as a list of findings and resources.  You can visit this site by clicking here.

A workshop on “Dealing with NSF’s Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact Criteria” will be held during the 36th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference in San Diego, California on October 28-31, 2006.  There seems to be no website associated with this workshop; this is a shame, since it will be led by a group of NSF program directors from the Division of Undergraduate Education and the Engineering Education and Centers Division of NSF.

Other Sites of Interest:
Check out the site for something called “EarthScope” here. What’s particularly interesting about this site is its extensive treatment of how scientists involved with EarthScope work to satisfy Criterion 2.  Unfortunately, it’s buried deep in the site (no pun intended): click on “Education,” then look under “Researchers” to find their work on “Broader Impacts.”  They even list some “Broader Impact Metrics.”