Final meeting IMPACTLAB

Final meeting IMPACTLAB

Photos: Lize Kraan


On Wednesday afternoon, May 17, 2023, the final meeting of the IMPACTLAB took place at the Boothstraat Church in Utrecht. During this festive afternoon, Anne Land and Madelijn Strick presented the research results of the IMPACTLAB and the final report “Measuring the Impact of Science Communication.”

Some 60 colleagues and relations of the IMPACTLAB attended the occasion, including science communicators, researchers, communication professionals and policy makers. Many of them had participated in one of our workshops or were involved in one of our studies as scientists or science communicators.

The afternoon was opened by Anne, who looked back on our project and took us through the tools, support and collaborations created by IMPACTLAB. Next, Madelijn talked about the research conducted by IMPACTLAB, sharing initial insights about the impact and effective ingredients of effective science communication.

For example, one of the insights gained is that science capital plays an important role in the perception and impact of public engagement activities, especially among children. To the extent children have higher science capital, science activities produce more enjoyment and intensity, and stronger self-reported change in knowledge, interest, attitudes and behavior. Another insight is that emotional memory is a strong predictor of impact. So it is important that science communication not only shares knowledge and facts, but also touches people’s hearts, creates fun and excitement, activating audiences even more. These are just a few highlights, there are many more insights in our final report.

Language researcher and experienced science communicator Sharon Unsworth shared her experiences and views on the importance of measuring the impact of science communication. Then Seray Ünsal, NWO communications officer, gave us insight into her experiences with public events and collaboration with the IMPACTLAB. After a short impact measurement among the audience present, using the famous bingo wheel, it was time for the highlight of the afternoon: head of NWA Jeanet Bruil officially accepted our final report. During a closing drink there was ample opportunity to talk with each other.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to the IMPACTLAB project. We hope that impact measurement will become a permanent part of science communication in the future, so that we can better identify the added value and active ingredients of science communication and improve the quality and impact of our public activities.

On behalf of the IMPACTLAB,

Anne, Madelijn, Ward and Patty

Our final report “Measuring Impact of Science Communication” can be found here.