Valle, N., P. Antonenko, P. S. Soltis, D. E. Soltis, R. A. Folk, R. P. Guralnick, J. C. Oliverio, T. T. Difato, Z. Xu, and L. Cheng. 2020. Informal multimedia biodiversity awareness event as a digital ecology for promoting culture of science. Educ Inf Technol, doi: 10.1007/s10639-020-10121-7.
Using self-determination theory, this study investigated the influence of a multimedia-enhanced informal biodiversity awareness event on the evolving culture of science and internal and external motivation to take environmental action among the members of a small community in Southeastern US. The event was hosted by a local life and science museum and featured three main components: a) opening session by experts in biodiversity; b) animated video about biodiversity; and c) follow-up conversation with scientists. Motivation for Environmental Action survey was used to examine public’s motivation to take action to protect biodiversity prior to and upon finishing the event. Semi-structured interviews were employed to investigate public’s evolving culture of science. Ordinal regression analysis suggested that public’s internal motivation was positively associated with a greater number of actions taken to protect biodiversity. University students were less likely to take actions to protect biodiversity than other members of the public. Interestingly, the increase in internal motivation was larger for students than for non-students, suggesting that even a relatively short informal biodiversity awareness event can impact community’s motivation, especially among those who were not particularly motivated to take actions to protect biodiversity prior to the event.