The social circumstance around science and technology are getting more complex and a solution to the social issues remains unclear. In responding to this, National Science-Technology Basic Plan has shifted to deepen the relationship between the society and science-technology innovation in its fourth period. In order to achieve it by gaining public understanding, secure venues for citizens are needed to acquire information on science and technology and participate in the discussion of social issues that are caused by science and technology.

A local survey on science and technology in the community supports this circumstance. In Shizuoka City where Shizuoka Science Museum locates, almost 70% of the respondents feel interest in science and society, but only about 33% of them feels that they have venues to participate in science activities.

The project to cultivate science communication in a local community, granted by Japan Science and Technology Agency for five years and started in November 2010, aims at providing a number of local science activities where the public gets in touch with science and technology and for that it holds three key emphases: developing a network of science activity practitioners such as science museums, industry, colleges and universities and NPO’s; producing science communicators and utilizing them for local science activities; developing a driving system to sustain the culture of science and technology.

The project starts from training lay publics in the local community as science communicators and utilizes them as an intermediate of scientists and local publics. The role of science communicators is to introduce a variety of science and technology including the forefront science and social issues. The network of science activity practitioners would work to secure a number of diverse opportunities so that science communicators facilitate the understanding of science and technology as well as the discussions among the local publics.

The project has been effective in terms of incorporating science communication to the local science activities and promoting public participation to the science activities, resulting in effective bridge between scientists by utilizing lay publics as science communicators. A sustainable system of the cultivation further needs to be sought.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Cultivating science communication in a local community

Midori Takahashi   Shizuoka Science Museum

The social circumstance around science and technology are getting more complex and a solution to the social issues remains unclear. In responding to this, National Science-Technology Basic Plan has shifted to deepen the relationship between the society and science-technology innovation in its fourth period. In order to achieve it by gaining public understanding, secure venues for citizens are needed to acquire information on science and technology and participate in the discussion of social issues that are caused by science and technology.

A local survey on science and technology in the community supports this circumstance. In Shizuoka City where Shizuoka Science Museum locates, almost 70% of the respondents feel interest in science and society, but only about 33% of them feels that they have venues to participate in science activities.

The project to cultivate science communication in a local community, granted by Japan Science and Technology Agency for five years and started in November 2010, aims at providing a number of local science activities where the public gets in touch with science and technology and for that it holds three key emphases: developing a network of science activity practitioners such as science museums, industry, colleges and universities and NPO’s; producing science communicators and utilizing them for local science activities; developing a driving system to sustain the culture of science and technology.

The project starts from training lay publics in the local community as science communicators and utilizes them as an intermediate of scientists and local publics. The role of science communicators is to introduce a variety of science and technology including the forefront science and social issues. The network of science activity practitioners would work to secure a number of diverse opportunities so that science communicators facilitate the understanding of science and technology as well as the discussions among the local publics.

The project has been effective in terms of incorporating science communication to the local science activities and promoting public participation to the science activities, resulting in effective bridge between scientists by utilizing lay publics as science communicators. A sustainable system of the cultivation further needs to be sought.

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

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