PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Science shops as unversity-community interfaces
An interactive approach in science communication

H. A. J. Mulder   University of Groningen

C. F. M. de Bok   Utrecht University

Science shops provide independent, participatory research support to civil society. They both use traditional science communication techniques to produce usable results, and they are part of an interactive science communication system: They help articulate civil society issues and support the use of results, and they put citizens requests on the research agenda. They can have a special position as facilitators in risk communication as an independent, trusted source. Science shops benefit research, higher education and civil society simultaneously. The E.U. supports science shops to help close the gap between science and society. Science shops proved viable in different countries, provided there is demand for knowledge and supply of researchers (e.g. students for credits), with willing hosts (like universities) and available paid staff. There should be more studies on this method for interactive science communication from the democratic motive, to strengthen it and improve its impact.

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