PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Communication in scientific research
Reflections and obstacles regarding the interaction with schools

Irene Tomasoni  

The interaction between Research and School is complicate to manage : the two have proper languages, needs and adopt different models of science production and elaboration. A relationship between them is in spite of everything possible, able to renovate science communication and education and to overcome the gap between young people and science.

The Italian National Research Council (CNR) has a long experience of innovative science communication initiative addressed to schools; CNR also collected criticalities emerged during the implementation of such initiatives. Tailored questionnaires have been submitted by researchers during the years to both scientists and young people to better analyse the communication model implied in the relationship between Research and School. Furthermore, observations on the obstacles that obstruct this relation, such as technical or relational ones (availability to participate, difficulties in finding common procedures etc), have been collected.

In this abstract we describe a proposal recently developed by CNR (2013-15 to promote a concrete exchange between Research and School. In the initiative, called "Researchers go to School" (RgS), students and teachers followed side by side a team of CNR scientists involved in an ongoing research project based on the use of EarthObservation methodologies for supporting the agricultural sector in Italy and actively contribute to some of its tasks. Following actively a project from its first steps can help schools understanding the content and the procedures of research, dealing also with economic, social and ethical issues. RgS goal was twofold: while introducing to a concrete and critical vision of the scientific process, the initiative also invited all participants to reflect on PCST activities,on participative models and their critical aspects.In the oral presentation we'll present constraints, limits and achievements of the collaboration between the Research and the Educational world and the first results of RgS evaluation questionnaire developed to the students.

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