Overcoming knowledge stickiness in scientific knowledge transfer

D. Blackman, Angela Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the transfer and dissemination of knowledge between scientists, the volunteers who collect the knowledge and the communities which learn from it in order to implement change. The role of knowledge “stickiness” in the reduction of knowledge transfer is outlined. The characteristics of the knowledge and the situation combine to develop a range of factors, “stickiness predictors,” which can deter knowledge transfer. These stickiness predictors are used to analyse data gathered from three qualitative cases, which were developed from both participant observation and semi-structured interviews studying the interactions between the scientists, volunteers and organisations. A reconsideration of the way that knowledge and knowledge transfer are being conceptualised by scientists is proposed, in order to enable “stickiness” factors to be recognised and managed, thereby increasing the potential for scientific literacy. A move towards a more broadly constituted community of practice is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2010


  • knowledge stickiness
  • knowledge transfer
  • scientific literacy
  • volunteers


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