Meeting in Antwerp: Ensuring sustainability of WG1

On June 2 – 3, 2022, WG1 had its final meeting in Antwerp, Belgium. Eleven EuroScitizen members from 10 countries participated. 

The meeting was focused on defining strategies to ensure the sustainability of WG1 results and its research line. For that we discussed the three sustainability dimensions: 

  1. how to use the collected data to answer additional research questions
  2. how to ensure the future of the research line in terms of future projects
  3. how to ensure the share of the results and products developed in the WG to certain stakeholders

Regarding the first dimension two groups were formed, one to analyze the relationship between WG1 results and WG2 curricula analysis and the other one to analyze in higher detail the students’ understanding of mutations in relation to their understanding of other evolutionary concepts. 

Three virtual mobility grants (VMG) are concretely planned. One will be intended to combine and compare results of curricula analysis using FACE (deliverable 1 of WG2; Sa Pinto et al., 2021) and results about Europeans’ knowledge about and acceptance of evolution (deliverable 3 of WG1; Kuschmierz et al., 2021) to see whether and how the presence or not of evolutionary big ideas in the countries’ curricula might have an impact on peoples’ knowledge about and acceptance of evolution. Another VMG is about European students’ understanding of mutations based on the use of the Evolution Education Questionnaire (EEQ; Beniermann et al., 2021) and how this understanding is connected with knowledge about evolutionary adaptation and variation. In a third project we will focus on analysing specific misconceptions and knowledge about evolution in different European countries based on the EEQ.

Regarding the second dimension, we discussed how and if we could support additional data collection and new PhD projects in the future. The first step to do this are the projects funded through VMG. We also discussed how to best use the Aveiro sustainability meeting to further achieve these goals.

Regarding the third dimension we briefly discussed what products should be disseminated in the sustainability meeting in Aveiro and how the interactive online visualisation of EuroScitizen results (EvoDash; deliverable 4 of WG1) can be used to further disseminate the results. We have also been discussing the best strategies to make the databases public.

We enjoyed the meeting and are motivated to continue with the follow-up projects.