PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Science as a culture, and an introduction to new Public Understanding of Research (PUR) experiments in Japan

Hidehiko Agata   National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

James Dougherty   University of Tokyo

Although Japan is considered a technologically established state, the Japanese adult's interest in science is very  low.Scientific development requires support of the public, and astronomy can be a good entrance to science for the  public.In Japan, there are about 350 planetariums and 250 public astronomical observatories. Recently, more Japanese astronomers cooperate with these social educational institutions, science journalism, and school  education.

Science plays an important role in technology and economic development. But science also plays intellectual and cultural roles. Science is the same over the world but public culture vary, and public understanding of research  (PUR) activities have to reflect these differences. Goals and approaches of education & popularization are somewhat  different in various countries. For PUR to succeed, training of science communicator, dialog with citizens, expansion of ‘Outreach’ (For example, information service over the Web, delivery lessons at school), and especially fusion and ooperation of “research community” and “educational community” are  needed.

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