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SciOPS conducts brief, frequent, rapidly deployed surveys administered to members of a large standing panel of thousands of STI experts in universities, industry and government. It then delivers results on a web-based platform in infographic form and provides tools for the public to interact with the data. The platform provides a place where a variety of users – regardless of background knowledge, demographics, or expertise – can receive unbrokered, balanced, and informed expert input on scientific discoveries, trending issues, and emerging technologies. The aim of SciOPS is to disrupt the current STI communication system by demonstrating the current state of scientific consensus (or lack thereof) in the STI community about a range of issues and to open, data-informed exchange among the STI community, stakeholder organizations and the broader public.
A key motivation for creating SciOPS is the current lack of any direct source of knowledge from the STI community on topics of relevance for policy and society. What we see almost exclusively are either media brokered summaries or generally inaccessible academic journal articles. The way in which SciOPS distributes STI information is fundamentally different from the majority of current science communication platforms in that it provides un-interpreted and un-editorialized STI information and entrusts society to understand, react to and use this information.
SciOPS was created by CSTEPS in collaboration with experts in various fields including science policy, user experience, and survey design. A multidisciplinary advisory panel will provide insight on topics, methods, and strategies as we continue to scale this project. We received seed funding from ASU’s President, Dr. Michael Crow, to develop the initial phase of SciOPS. We launched the pilot phase of the project in June of 2020.