Reporting on the Science Centre World Summit 2014 Citizen engagement in pending global scientific and technological issues is crucial to the advancement and welfare of all. Numerous organizations all over the world share this same concern. Collaborative partnerships worldwide need to be formed in order to further the public opinion across cultural, political, economic and geographical boundaries, that  science  holds  the  key  to  pending  global  issues.  At  the  Science  Centre  World  Summit  2014 (Technopolis®, the Flemish Science Centre, Mechelen, Belgium, 17-19 March 2014), representatives from different fields will have met and discussed topics that concern all parties. The Science Centre World  Summit  focused  on  three  strands:  Research  and  communication  of  research  The  growing importance of science in our daily lives and new expectations of the public about the role of science, spurs a debate among scientists about their responsibilities in modern societies. How far do they need to involve the public in the early stages of the scientific process, including in the formulation of the research question? Should they become advocates for policy decisions only based on scientific evidence? The answer to these questions may very well influence how science centres do their job in the near future. Engaging learners in all settings “Education for All” as promoted by UNESCO is the key to the future well-being of individuals, communities and nations. Over recent decades, there have been significant developments in thinking about how best to engage learners and to optimise their education both in formal and informal settings. Providing educational tools to support learning in widely varying contexts has also progressed. The growth of the science centre and museum field illustrates that people benefit not only from the learning provided by schools and universities, but also from a growing range and number of entities providing lifelong learning. The Science Centre World Summit 2014 brought together the very latest thinking about how we might work towards a more cohesive approach, drawing on expertise and assets within  formal and informal sectors, to address the challenges of optimising learning opportunities for all. New technologies for learning and engagement The development of new educational and learning technologies have radically changed the field of science museums and centres, who have learnt to better engage their publics, fully participate in the process of lifelong learning. Cocreation using new technologies provides science centres with tools to design and build experiences with their audience instead of for their audience. The Summit explored how new trends, such as personalized visitor experiences using technology, geo-localization and other technologies can contribute to the value of the visitor experience. Experts looked beyond the actual frontiers and future possibilities of technology and analysed the impact new technologies have on science communication. In this session speakers will give an account of the first results of the Science Centre World Summit 2014. They will report on 2 specific elements: 1. The Summit 2014 created a forum for alliances between research, policy makers, scientists, industry, science centres and science communicators that will advance the issues related to the public engagement at a higher strategic level than before. It laid the foundation for partnerships and created a synergy where all parties support each other’s message and responsibilities. One of the partnerships the science centre movement is concluding regards a partnership with the United Nations concerning the Sustainable Development Goals (2015). At the PCST conference we report specifically on this and other partnerships such as the partnership between the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the Organization of American States. 2. The Mechelen Declaration, the action plan in which the international science centre field and its strategic partners commit to 7 concrete actions for the enhancement of public engagement for a better world, was presented at the Science Centre World Summit 2014. It is a significant milestone for the science centre field: it emphasizes what science centres stand for, but looks for common ground with international 77 organizations with similar aims with the objective of creating new partnerships for the benefit of all. These organizations are invited to support the goals of the Declaration. The PCST conference will be the first occasion to bring this Declaration in front of potential partners and we are looking forward on how this science centre move will be received. Finally, the further movement within the science centre field and more specifically within the science communication field at large, will be presented: a.o. the Science Centre World Summit and its goals in 2017.

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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science communication, a matter of partnerships
Reporting on the science centre world summit 2014

Erik Jacquemyn   Technopolis, the Flemish Science Centre; Chair of the Science Centre World Summit 2014, Belgium

Alejandra León-Castellá   Fundación para el Centro Nacional de la Ciencia y la Tecnología - RedPop-Unesco, Costa Rica

Ernesto Fernández Polcuch   UNESCO Regional Office for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean, Uruguay

Ronen Mir   Science Learning Centers, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Walter Staveloz   Association of Science-Technology Centers, United Kingdom

Reporting on the Science Centre World Summit 2014 Citizen engagement in pending global scientific and technological issues is crucial to the advancement and welfare of all. Numerous organizations all over the world share this same concern. Collaborative partnerships worldwide need to be formed in order to further the public opinion across cultural, political, economic and geographical boundaries, that  science  holds  the  key  to  pending  global  issues.  At  the  Science  Centre  World  Summit  2014 (Technopolis®, the Flemish Science Centre, Mechelen, Belgium, 17-19 March 2014), representatives from different fields will have met and discussed topics that concern all parties. The Science Centre World  Summit  focused  on  three  strands:  Research  and  communication  of  research  The  growing importance of science in our daily lives and new expectations of the public about the role of science, spurs a debate among scientists about their responsibilities in modern societies. How far do they need to involve the public in the early stages of the scientific process, including in the formulation of the research question? Should they become advocates for policy decisions only based on scientific evidence? The answer to these questions may very well influence how science centres do their job in the near future. Engaging learners in all settings “Education for All” as promoted by UNESCO is the key to the future well-being of individuals, communities and nations. Over recent decades, there have been significant developments in thinking about how best to engage learners and to optimise their education both in formal and informal settings. Providing educational tools to support learning in widely varying contexts has also progressed. The growth of the science centre and museum field illustrates that people benefit not only from the learning provided by schools and universities, but also from a growing range and number of entities providing lifelong learning. The Science Centre World Summit 2014 brought together the very latest thinking about how we might work towards a more cohesive approach, drawing on expertise and assets within  formal and informal sectors, to address the challenges of optimising learning opportunities for all. New technologies for learning and engagement The development of new educational and learning technologies have radically changed the field of science museums and centres, who have learnt to better engage their publics, fully participate in the process of lifelong learning. Cocreation using new technologies provides science centres with tools to design and build experiences with their audience instead of for their audience. The Summit explored how new trends, such as personalized visitor experiences using technology, geo-localization and other technologies can contribute to the value of the visitor experience. Experts looked beyond the actual frontiers and future possibilities of technology and analysed the impact new technologies have on science communication. In this session speakers will give an account of the first results of the Science Centre World Summit 2014. They will report on 2 specific elements: 1. The Summit 2014 created a forum for alliances between research, policy makers, scientists, industry, science centres and science communicators that will advance the issues related to the public engagement at a higher strategic level than before. It laid the foundation for partnerships and created a synergy where all parties support each other’s message and responsibilities. One of the partnerships the science centre movement is concluding regards a partnership with the United Nations concerning the Sustainable Development Goals (2015). At the PCST conference we report specifically on this and other partnerships such as the partnership between the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the Organization of American States. 2. The Mechelen Declaration, the action plan in which the international science centre field and its strategic partners commit to 7 concrete actions for the enhancement of public engagement for a better world, was presented at the Science Centre World Summit 2014. It is a significant milestone for the science centre field: it emphasizes what science centres stand for, but looks for common ground with international 77 organizations with similar aims with the objective of creating new partnerships for the benefit of all. These organizations are invited to support the goals of the Declaration. The PCST conference will be the first occasion to bring this Declaration in front of potential partners and we are looking forward on how this science centre move will be received. Finally, the further movement within the science centre field and more specifically within the science communication field at large, will be presented: a.o. the Science Centre World Summit and its goals in 2017.

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