PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Thinking about arenas

J. Riise   Swedish Research Council

Science Communication Events, such as Science Festivals or Science Weeks, are rapidly developing. The main objectives are often described in terms of “raising the awareness for science and technology among the general public”. The method is literally to “bring science to the public”, that is through using new and unusual places and formats like shopping malls, railway stations and cinemas as well as “physics shows” and science theatres. Most science events are evaluated on a regular basis, on behalf of arrangers or funding organisations. Normally, these are very positive, people enjoy the science communications activities.

At the Göteborg International Science Festival, it turns out that the one of the arenas, “a tent in the park”, is surprisingly successful in attracting young people, also from suburban parts of the city. This shows the necessity to think not only in contents, but also places and formats, when “bringing science to the public”.

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