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Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU

DEVELOPING PUBLIC COMMUNICATION METHODS BY COMBINING SCIENCE, CREATIVE ARTS AND INTERGENERATIONAL INFLUENCE: THE TRACE PROJECT

  • Alice Brock - Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Southampton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Robin Browning - SÓN Orchestra, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Anca Campanie - SON Orchestra, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Susannah Pal - Freelance Artist, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Ian D. Williams - Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Southampton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Abstract

E-waste is one of the fastest growing global waste streams. As e-waste accumulates scientists struggle to communicate scientific findings and concepts effectively and expediently to the public in a way that raises awareness and inspires discussions. The TRACE (TRAnsitioning to a Circular Economy with creative artists) project was a collaboration between scientists, creative artists and primary schoolchildren to develop new ways to communicate to the public about e-waste. It combined i) intergenerational influence and ii) music / art to raise public awareness, educate and provoke discussion. Two musical performances by schoolchildren and two art exhibitions by a professional artist were created to evoke emotional responses to e-waste, particularly by imbuing e-waste with personality through anthropomorphism in their songs and artwork. Key findings indicate that awareness was raised in audiences, artists, schoolchildren, and their caregivers due to their involvement in the TRACE project; 99% of the audience reported a rise in awareness of e-waste issues; 70% of participants indicated an intention to change e-waste disposal; and 65% indicated an intention to change reuse and repair behaviour. Audiences demonstrated strong emotional reactions to the project alongside change in behavioural intent. The degree to which awareness was raised, and its intensity, demonstrates the viability of the use of intergenerational influence and the creative arts as tools to communicate environmental issues effectively. The project consequently won a prestigious 2021 UK National Recycling Award for (communication) Campaign of the Year (Large).

Keywords


Editorial History

  • Received: 07 Jun 2022
  • Revised: 06 Dec 2022
  • Accepted: 12 Dec 2022
  • Available online: 20 Dec 2022

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