Project focus: Angela will co-design projects, building on work that engages the growing community of practice centering collaborative engagement with communities around science, as well as synthesizing research on timely topics in science communication for practitioner audiences.
Angela Fenoglio is a neuroscientist by training and has expertise in brain development, early childhood policy, and prevention science, and she has a longstanding interest in putting science to work to serve the members of our communities who have been systematically disadvantaged. Angela’s work in diverse disciplines and settings has drawn her attention to the gap between the advances being made in the laboratory and the myriad ways that knowledge is (and is not) put to use to address real-world problems. Angela is guided by the belief that translating research into usable knowledge means making it available, accessible, and actionable for stakeholders at all levels and that effective science communication relies on bidirectional, collaborative relationships between researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the communities they aim to serve. Angela holds a Ph.D. in child development from the University of Minnesota, an Ed.M. in human development and education from Harvard University, and a B.A. in psychology from Boston University.
1. What was the focus of your work as a Civic Science Fellow? What did you do?
In my fellowship, I’ve worked with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to increase institutional support for evidence-based science communication and engagement, centering the diverse communities with whom the Academies serve sand partners. Through extensive conversations and surveys, I’ve cataloged the existing community engagement work at the Academies and the challenges project staff have faced in its implementation. I worked with the Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication to host a free three-day science communication colloquium and facilitated quarterly community engagement meetings with staff from all over the Academies. I’ve built a database of frameworks and goals for community engagement in science and designed an interactive webpage to make information from the colloquium quickly and easily accessible to researchers, practitioners, and anyone interested in learning about community engagement. Broadly, I’ve focused on building networks and identifying and increasing access to resources that support evidence-based, collaborative community engagement in science.
2. How do you hope your work as a Fellow will influence the future—for yourself, an organization, a community, or a field?
Throughout my time with the National Academies, I’ve worked to make the insights I’ve encountered available to others within the organization, in hopes that the resources that have so kindly been shared with me will continue to be built upon and shared with others at the Academies (and potentially beyond). I’m also hopeful that the mere existence of the Civic Science Fellowship and the incredible work being done by this warm, compassionate, and highly motivated group of people will help to catalyze the systemic change needed to make science a more inclusive and equitable enterprise.
3. What’s one insight you’d share from your work as a Civic Science Fellow?
With every day I spend in this field, my appreciation for community expertise, knowledge, and wisdom grows. Communities not only know what they need, they know how to access the corners of their own specific spaces that researchers don’t even know to look for. I’m grateful that so many of these communities are still willing to offer time, resources, and trust to organizations deeply embedded in systems that have repeatedly failed them, and it’s our duty to recognize these past failures and really listen when we’re told what we can do better.