This presentation considers the role of science museums in the advanced science and technology society. We introduce the training program for science communicators at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo (NMNS).
The process of science communication depends on the contexts of communication environments. Ogawa (2005) examined the communication environments in museums, and in particular, discussed those qualities expected of science communicators when they function as liaisons between audiences and science. They are expected to have the qualities of expertise, communication, and coordination.
Based on these qualities, NMNS developed the practical training program for science communicators in collaboration with universities. The goal of our training program is to “create a link of knowledge” between theory and practice with regard to the following four key qualities: Understand (Deepen expertise of science and technology), Communicate (Improve communication skills), Engage (Improve coordination skills) and Activate (Take action in society). The training program is composed of two courses; “SC1” and “SC2”. These courses focus on communication skills (SC1) and coordination skills (SC2), respectively. To complete the key qualities, students also acquire expertise through their research activities. For this reason, the training program is aimed at graduate students of collaborating universities. Students first learn communication theory, apply it to actual practice, and then re-visit the theory by focusing on the questions raised during actual practice. It is this process that makes the program so unique. Each course provides opportunities for small discussion groups in which the students can develop “communication skills” and “discussion skills”.
 
This training program was launched in summer 2006. In the last 5 years 116 people have graduated. Among them, 51 people received the SC certificate on completion of SC2. The graduates are expanding their activities in various areas, such as publishing a free science newspaper, producing science learning support materials, etc. They also receive financial support from a company and organize a Science Cafe regularly. Our program is a successful pioneer model within the Japanese science communicator community. The current key issue is disseminating information about our training program. The concept of the program and science communication itself should be widely understood by museums and universities.
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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Implementation and issues of science communicator training program in collaboration with universities and museums

Hiroyuki Arita-Kikutani   National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

Yoshikazu Ogawa   National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

Saori Nakai   National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

Kumiko Sato   National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

This presentation considers the role of science museums in the advanced science and technology society. We introduce the training program for science communicators at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo (NMNS).
The process of science communication depends on the contexts of communication environments. Ogawa (2005) examined the communication environments in museums, and in particular, discussed those qualities expected of science communicators when they function as liaisons between audiences and science. They are expected to have the qualities of expertise, communication, and coordination.
Based on these qualities, NMNS developed the practical training program for science communicators in collaboration with universities. The goal of our training program is to “create a link of knowledge” between theory and practice with regard to the following four key qualities: Understand (Deepen expertise of science and technology), Communicate (Improve communication skills), Engage (Improve coordination skills) and Activate (Take action in society). The training program is composed of two courses; “SC1” and “SC2”. These courses focus on communication skills (SC1) and coordination skills (SC2), respectively. To complete the key qualities, students also acquire expertise through their research activities. For this reason, the training program is aimed at graduate students of collaborating universities. Students first learn communication theory, apply it to actual practice, and then re-visit the theory by focusing on the questions raised during actual practice. It is this process that makes the program so unique. Each course provides opportunities for small discussion groups in which the students can develop “communication skills” and “discussion skills”.
 
This training program was launched in summer 2006. In the last 5 years 116 people have graduated. Among them, 51 people received the SC certificate on completion of SC2. The graduates are expanding their activities in various areas, such as publishing a free science newspaper, producing science learning support materials, etc. They also receive financial support from a company and organize a Science Cafe regularly. Our program is a successful pioneer model within the Japanese science communicator community. The current key issue is disseminating information about our training program. The concept of the program and science communication itself should be widely understood by museums and universities.

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