Explainers, pilots, facilitators, mediators, educators; whatever their name is, these professionals have an essential role in science centres and museums (but also in outreach activities of university and research institutes); they are the human, direct interface with the public, and have a relevant responsibility in the success of the communication of their institutions. A key factor determining the quality of their work is training.

THE group, the Thematic Human Interface Group is a working group of Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums, dealing since 2007 with the professionalization of explainers. Survey on their status, role and training needs have been carried on, training courses at a European level have been organized (and carefully evaluated), and many international seminars have been held to exchange the best practices and to discuss the pros and cons of the different training schemes.

The talk will present the state-of-the art of these activities, discussing data and analysis regarding:
- Who are the explainers? Demographic data and job description of the European explainers;

- How are they trained? Different training schemes and practices in the different institutions;
- The European explainers learning community: programmes and evaluation results of the training courses held in the framework of THE group;

- The PILOTS HUB: the online explainers’ learning community;
- Towards the professionalization of explainers: international debate and trends.

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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The professionalization of the explainers
A european perspective

Paola Rodari   SISSA Medialab, Trieste (IT) and Ecsite The Group Steering Committee

Maria Xanthoudaki   Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia, Milano (IT) and Ecsite The Group Steering Committee

Anne-Lise Mathieu   Universcience Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris (FR) and Ecsite The Group Steering Committee

Explainers, pilots, facilitators, mediators, educators; whatever their name is, these professionals have an essential role in science centres and museums (but also in outreach activities of university and research institutes); they are the human, direct interface with the public, and have a relevant responsibility in the success of the communication of their institutions. A key factor determining the quality of their work is training.

THE group, the Thematic Human Interface Group is a working group of Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums, dealing since 2007 with the professionalization of explainers. Survey on their status, role and training needs have been carried on, training courses at a European level have been organized (and carefully evaluated), and many international seminars have been held to exchange the best practices and to discuss the pros and cons of the different training schemes.

The talk will present the state-of-the art of these activities, discussing data and analysis regarding:
- Who are the explainers? Demographic data and job description of the European explainers;

- How are they trained? Different training schemes and practices in the different institutions;
- The European explainers learning community: programmes and evaluation results of the training courses held in the framework of THE group;

- The PILOTS HUB: the online explainers’ learning community;
- Towards the professionalization of explainers: international debate and trends.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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