Success of modern exhibitions on natural sciences around the world shows the interest of people on science. Public institutions involved in science must be concerned in "selling the product", that is, in promoting science to such a point that citizens have a feeling to share a progress and a way in the world of ideas and knowledge., To introduce exhibitions which are able to attract, to entertain and to accurately inform the visitor implies to be over the already traditional isolation between two worlds: that of scientists and that of the rest of the society.

The process of scientific communication using exhibitions as a vehicle is discussed taking into account some results obtained in a recent research done around the exhibition "Ecology". An exhaustive study of "impact" was carried in seven different populations; the behaviour during the visit of a large sample of visitors was observed and analysed; and the variability of knowledge gained by several age groups of students was checked. The experimental results were used to interpret the possible peifurnmnoe of the "object of communication”, that is, the exhibition. The conclusions that follow from this kind of studies 'must be incorporated on the setting out of new exhibitions planned within the scope of "non formal education".

 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Exhibitions as tools of scientific communication

Carme Prats   Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales

Success of modern exhibitions on natural sciences around the world shows the interest of people on science. Public institutions involved in science must be concerned in "selling the product", that is, in promoting science to such a point that citizens have a feeling to share a progress and a way in the world of ideas and knowledge., To introduce exhibitions which are able to attract, to entertain and to accurately inform the visitor implies to be over the already traditional isolation between two worlds: that of scientists and that of the rest of the society.

The process of scientific communication using exhibitions as a vehicle is discussed taking into account some results obtained in a recent research done around the exhibition "Ecology". An exhaustive study of "impact" was carried in seven different populations; the behaviour during the visit of a large sample of visitors was observed and analysed; and the variability of knowledge gained by several age groups of students was checked. The experimental results were used to interpret the possible peifurnmnoe of the "object of communication”, that is, the exhibition. The conclusions that follow from this kind of studies 'must be incorporated on the setting out of new exhibitions planned within the scope of "non formal education".

 

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