Tool Guideline

Using Arts-based Methods in Science Communication

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 14 September 2020

This pop-up guidebook is carefully designed for you to test and taste. It is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 SWAFS funded project called Participatory Communication of Science - ParCos.

This first version of guidebook has the nature of a pop-up guidebook; it is for testing ideas and getting feedback from you and other people applying arts-based methods in the context of science communication.

Specific case studies take place in three European countries, Belgium, the U.K. and Finland. Each case study progresses through a number of stages, from collecting or identifying scientific data, to finding and telling stories from the data, to communicating the stories through selected media for a chosen audience with the intent to prompt further science activities from the outputs. Arts-based methods in each case study are identified to help with the following activities of citizen science: identification of problems, ideation, framing of solutions, design or deployment. By doing this we are carefully identifying why, when and how we use specific arts-based method.

After testing, getting feedback and deepening our understanding of arts-based methods in this specific context, the book will be updated and the final version will be written for you.

How to read this guidebook

This guidebook is designed so that you can pick out individual pieces at a time, and each of them works independently, but also as part of the whole. You can use the table of contents as your trigger to find out more about arts-based methods in the context of ParCos. Hopefully you find what you need and will make your own connection.

You will get familiar with some fictional characters venturing in this Guidebook, they are based on experiences of several facilitators in the ParCos-project. Characters are leading you towards practical context and interaction. Ava is a facilitator who is working with various communities applying arts-based methods to participatory design. Milo is an artist who works within communities and organisations applying his artistic skills and competences - his special interest is in social justice and collective voicing. Sophia is a voluntary member of a community center and is interested in democratizing the ownership of data to citizens.



  • Preface
  • How to read this book


  • Theoretical roots
  • Contract in participatory process
  • Ethos of participatory arts-based and action research
  • Arts-based methods supporting participatory sense-making, agency and dialogue
  • ParCos approach
  • Case studies
  • Inspiring reading list

Arts-based examples

  • Arts-based example 1
  • Arts-based example 2
  • Inspiring practitioners


  • Citizen Story
  • Materialising
  • Fictional Character
  • Scenario Writing
  • Montage
  • Impressions-on-the-wall method
  • Future Story
  • Story Capture
  • Storyboard
  • Evocative visual storytelling
  • Artful inquiry
  • Pretotyping
  • Reflexive sketchbooks
  • Zines
  • Object theatre

License and attribution

  • Contact us
  • License and copyright

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