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Tuesday 24th January 2023 to Wednesday 25th January 2023

Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom

This two-day workshop aims to explore the challenges in communicating important mathematics to the public through a variety of streams, including the media and government.
 

Background

 
Mathematics is a tool used to explain both simple and complex ideas using logic and reasoning to a variety of audiences. Audiences include not only mathematics students or other professionals, but also journalists, policy makers and the general public. It is therefore of great importance to reflect on both successful and unsuccessful forms of mathematical communication in order to develop better mechanisms to communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
 
One very notable example of the importance of mathematical communication was during the COVID-19 pandemic, where mathematical models of the spread of COVID-19 were regularly used to explain to the general public the reasoning behind various government intervention policies. As we witnessed, poor communication can lead to distrust and misinformation being spread, but good presentation has helped media and government make sense of what has been happening.
 
This event follows on from the three-day virtual study group on The Public Perception of Science hosted by the Gateway and V-KEMS in May 2022. This study group brought mathematical scientists and other disciplines together to solve challenges related to trustworthy communication, communicating mathematics and misinformation. There is more to learn, especially about what happens out of the public eye, and communication was one of the challenges raised at the recent CMS Town Hall event.
 

Aims and Objectives

 
In this workshop, we aim to investigate the role of various parties in the communication route between mathematicians/statisticians and the public, bringing together not only mathematical and statistical communicators, but also representatives from the media and government.
 
Across the 2 days, we aim to explore the following three main themes

  1. Mediating processes
  2. Good practice
  3. Learning from experience.

 
A provisional programme will be made available soon. The organisers would be glad to receive suggestions for contributions (via Maha.Kaouri@newton.ac.uk) on empirically evaluated or professionally specialised practice in current use. The aim is to share understanding across as broad a range of applications as possible.
 

Registration, Venue and Dinner

 
Registration is now open. The registration fee is at a subsidised price of £55 for delegates and covers lunch and refreshments across the two days. A dinner will be held at Churchill College at 7pm on Tuesday 24th January at an additional subsidised fee of £25.
 
The workshop will take place at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Please visit the Isaac Newton Institute website for further information about the venue.