The work aims at supporting the planning of the Environmental Sciences gallery for the MUSE, the new Museum of Science of Trento (Italy), opening in the late spring 2013 (http://www.muse2012.eu/en/index.html). The gallery proposes an original approach both from the narrative and the scientific point of view being based on framework known as “planetary boundaries”, in order to become aware about the complex relationship between human activities and environmental resilience. At first, the most relevant studies concerning public perception about environmental questions - such as evaluation studies already accomplished by other European museums and Eurobarometer surveys - have been analyzed. Then, the main audiences of the future gallery were identified and involved in a series of focus groups engaging secondary schools pupils, teachers and independent adults. Key issues of the “planetary boundaries” framework were presented and discussed with the participants (i.e.: climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone depletion, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, global freshwater use, change in land use, biodiversity loss, overpopulation, atmospheric aerosol loading and chemical pollution). Present evaluation has allowed us to understand the knowledge, attitude and interests of different publics towards those issues and towards the idea of sustainability, and their perception of the information on those issues as conveyed in the media. Hostility and willingness to participate, unconcern and awareness, hope and fear emerged in interesting patterns, showing a general and declared need of information of “good” quality, i.e. detailed and evidence-based, related to a “what-we-can-do” agenda. This knowledge has been precious for designing the MUSE’s gallery in an effective way.In particular the exhibition, addressed to a large public, includes the results of the environmental research and the awareness of its methods and limits, shows possible environmental solutions and raises the sense of belonging that seems to be lost.">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Exploring visitors’ opinions
Formative evaluation for the “sustainability gallery” at muse, the now science museum in Trento, Italy

Lucia Martinelli   Museo delle Scienze, Trento, Italy, Samuela Caliari Museo delle Scienze, Trento, ITALY

Marina D’Alessandro   Master in comunicazione della scienza, SISSA, Trieste, ITALY

Patrizia Famà   Museo delle Scienze, Trento, Italy

Flavio Perna   Master in comunicazione della scienza, SISSA, Trieste, Italy

Paola Rodari   SISSA Medialab, Italy

David Tombolato – Museo delle Scienze, Trento, Italy

The work aims at supporting the planning of the Environmental Sciences gallery for the MUSE, the new Museum of Science of Trento (Italy), opening in the late spring 2013 (http://www.muse2012.eu/en/index.html). The gallery proposes an original approach both from the narrative and the scientific point of view being based on framework known as “planetary boundaries”, in order to become aware about the complex relationship between human activities and environmental resilience. At first, the most relevant studies concerning public perception about environmental questions - such as evaluation studies already accomplished by other European museums and Eurobarometer surveys - have been analyzed. Then, the main audiences of the future gallery were identified and involved in a series of focus groups engaging secondary schools pupils, teachers and independent adults. Key issues of the “planetary boundaries” framework were presented and discussed with the participants (i.e.: climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone depletion, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, global freshwater use, change in land use, biodiversity loss, overpopulation, atmospheric aerosol loading and chemical pollution). Present evaluation has allowed us to understand the knowledge, attitude and interests of different publics towards those issues and towards the idea of sustainability, and their perception of the information on those issues as conveyed in the media. Hostility and willingness to participate, unconcern and awareness, hope and fear emerged in interesting patterns, showing a general and declared need of information of “good” quality, i.e. detailed and evidence-based, related to a “what-we-can-do” agenda. This knowledge has been precious for designing the MUSE’s gallery in an effective way.In particular the exhibition, addressed to a large public, includes the results of the environmental research and the awareness of its methods and limits, shows possible environmental solutions and raises the sense of belonging that seems to be lost.

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

BACK TO TOP