The Balearic Islands science fair A new experience of scientific popularisation
Enric Culat Pascual
BÃ rbara Terrasa Pont University of the Balearic Islands
The administration of the local government of the Balearic Islands took the initiative to organise a Science Fair for three consecutive years (2002, 2003 and 2004), featuring the participation of the region’s many research centres (University, Institute of Oceanography, Meteorological Centre of the Balearic Islands, Astronomical Observatory, Museums, etc.), educational centres of all levels and various companies in the sector of technology.
Held for three days in a tented space in Palma, the Fair offered a wide range of scientific activities. Participants, students and scientists came together in their efforts to display their experiments in an educational and entertaining way, allowing visitors to actively learn and enjoy the different activities.
Prior to 2002, the mass media seldom covered matters relating to the sciences. Information of this sort was virtually always tied to the presence in the Balearic Islands of celebrities from the scientific world. The inauguration of the Fair in 2002, however, would have great impact on the media in this sense. While the event was being held, there was widespread coverage of it in the media. Today, the inclusion of scientific news pieces has become far more common in the Islands.
As a result, from the standpoint of communication, the Fair was a milestone in the Balearic Islands, thanks to which a significant step has been taken towards raising public awareness of science and increasing its presence in the mass media.