Researchers contribute to the growth and wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects, and share the fruits of their research with their peers in academic publications, posters presentations or colloquia. However, there is an increasing preoccupation with getting this knowledge out to the end-users who will most benefit from it. It is a matter of accountability for the use of public funds; it is a matter of having an impact on our society; it is a matter of getting research results out of academia and into the real world.
To this end, many researchers engage in knowledge mobilization, which can take all sorts of forms: using social media, hosting a Café Scientifique, a public event in which the researcher engages in a meaningful dialogue with the public or with a targeted audience, hosting workshops, etc.
Dr. Matthew Peros, Canada Research Chair in Climate and Environmental Change, is collaborating with researchers in Cuba to examine how the environment of submerged caves off the coast of Cuba, where remains of a long-extinct species of sloth have recently been found by cave divers, can provide clues into the impacts of climate change may have had on the fauna and flora of this region in ancient times.
Dr. Peros and his collaborators have mounted an exhibition presented at Sherbrooke’s Science and Nature Museum. The public was invited to discover breathtaking photographs of underwater cave and learn how bone remains and soil samples can teach us about climate variations that took place hundreds of thousands of years ago. More than 1200 individuals of all ages visited the exhibition. In order to support Dr. Peros in this knowledge mobilization initiative, Research Office staffed assisted in drafting an agreement between Bishop’s University and the Science and Nature Museum in Sherbrooke, in drafting the storyline that formed the foundation of the exhibit, and in translating captions used to identify images, objects and artefacts presented at the museum.
The Research Support Fund of the Federal Government supports a portion of the costs associated with the Research Office’s activities, such as salary expenses for staff members who provide support for knowledge mobilization activities.