Seeking to impart even greater importance to the communication and dissemination of science, and hoping to foster better appreciation for the efforts made by scientific and academic staff to popularize scientific knowledge, two Councils associated with the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) – the Council for the Propagation of Science and the Council for Scientific Societies – have drawn up a “Charter for Science-Popularizers”.

Both Councils recognize the need to create systems at Polish universities and at scientific units of the Polish Academy of Sciences that help support the popularization of scientific knowledge, including in collaboration with scientific societies. Science communication forms part of the so-called “third mission” of universities, but it should also play an important role in the activities of research units and scientific societies. 

Science-popularization activities are typically based on the goodwill of enthusiasts and hobbyists. While the management authorities of some Polish universities and institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences do increasingly recognize the marketing benefit of popularization activities, there is generally a lack of structural incentives for staff who make high-quality efforts to communicate science to society at large.

The members of both Councils of the PAS are of the conviction that science-communication work should be among the criteria applied in periodic evaluation of scientific and teaching staff and determining their promotion, and that achievements in popularizing such knowledge should be an additional criterion in the recruitment process for new staff.

The “Charter for Science-Popularizers” has been sent out to Polish universities, scientific institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences and other scientific units and scientific societies in Poland, together with a request for it to be endorsed and applied in practice.