When do science communication projects work? How do we know when science communication is effective? These are seemingly simple but nonetheless vexing questions that evaluation scholars have faced for decades. Some of the challenges facing evaluation experts who study science communication are similar to those faced by those who study strategic communication campaigns. At the same time, there are some unique challenges that science communication evaluation efforts often involve, due in part to the nature of funding for such efforts and in part to philosophical differences between many science communication staff and, for example, commercial advertising professionals. These challenges cut across several dimensions, including definition of audience, outcome identification, and measurement issues. Some recent large-scale project evaluations, such as those connected with the Discoveries and ...

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