Workshop 2:  agendas

king's college london, december 2017

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This workshop focussed on the agendas motivating the popularization of palaeontological research by scientists, and the reasons for interest in palaeontological subjects among the public.  It examined the synergies and tensions between these sets of interests, and how particular audiences are either privileged or excluded in these processes.  In addition, we discussed the challenges of palaeontological outreach, some of the pressures around it, and the frequent conflict between different goals and interests.

Some of the key questions were:

  • Why popularize palaeontology at all?  What have been the difference motives and agendas for this, and how have they affected popularization efforts? 
  • How has the public position of palaeontological research affected scientific research and scientific careers?  What are the potential costs and risks of making palaeontology a ‘popular’ science?
  • What audiences have traditionally been interested in palaeontology, and why?  What audiences should we try to reach with palaeontological outreach today, and how? 


Chris Manias


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Ilja Nieuwland

Paleontology as Science or Entertainment? A Comparative Anatomy through Time

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Mark Carnall

What has palaeontology ever done for us?

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Liz Hide

Fossils in a landscape of “Arts & Culture

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Art & Palaeontology


Paul Brinkman

Adding life, color and interest to the fossil exhibits: the scientific illustrations of John Conrad Hansen

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A Children's Science?

Richard Fallon

A New Little Alice in Prehistoric Wonderland:” Popularisers of Palaeontology and the Works of Lewis Carroll

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Melanie Keene

Mary Anning and the History of Palaeontology for Children

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Palaeontology & The Media


Steve Brusatte

New dinosaurs in the news: insight from a journalist-turned-palaeontologist

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Communicating the Science

Paige Madison

Missing Links and Human Ancestors: Communicating the Science of Our Origin

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Darren Naish

Reviewing the Reviews. Biased Coverage in Palaeontology: Does it Matter?

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