In this paper, it will be presented the highlighted interests that the audience stated about the scientific and technologic topics of the Cafés. Furthermore, this paper draws a line for us to plan the future sessions of the Café from an inclusive science approach in order to consolidate in Morelia as a PCST forum to share and impel a higher increase of scientific culture in society.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Public interests for Science and Technology in a Cup of Coffee

Ana Nepote  

In this paper, we will present the views of the audience in a Café Scientifique held in Morelia, Mexico. We estimated that 2,100 people have attended the Café in the first two years, we had carried out surveys among 489 people that have attended at least one session of the Cafés in order to learn more about their interests on science and technology. We also carried out semi-structured interviews with 20 scientists that have participated in the Cafés to learn about their own experiences as participants.

The café communication started in Britain inspired by Marc Sautet who started this model in France in the nineties. Today there are more than 500 Cafés around the world. According to Duncan Dallas (2014), in a Café Scientifique there is a topic but no further agenda. Its importance is to enjoy a relaxed conversation in a respectful and openness environment among scientists and citizens in other places different from university facilities or lecture rooms. In November 2013 the Café Scientifique started in Morelia, Mexico aiming to open a space for conversation about scientific topics. The venue of this Café is the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Cultural Center.

Morelia is a colonial city with university tradition. There are two important public universities: Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo founded in 1917, and the campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México founded in 1996.

Michoacán state has promoted a tradition in the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) due to the impulse of a wide variety of activities such as conferences, exhibitions, workshops, and outreach activities. Nevertheless, there have not been registered experiences with Scientific Cafés before. The Café that we present in this paper has been due every Tuesday of every month for 2 years uninterruptedly at the Cultural Center located at the heart of Morelia´s downtown. We invite public to attend each session through several massive communication means, such as flyers, newspapers, radio and emailing. There have been given 22 Cafés sessions up to now, in which more than 30 researchers working in both Universities have participated, leading the conversations. This paper represents a first analysis and evaluation on our two years experience at the Café.

The session which drawn more attention was "Química cuántica y selección sexual" (Quantic Chemistry and Sexual Selection), with a recorded attendance of 120 people. On the other hand, the Café which had the lowest attendance was "Cometas, cronistas del sistema solar" (Comets, Chroniclers of the Solar System), with a recorded attendance of 10 people. It was our very first session of the Café.

In this paper, it will be presented the highlighted interests that the audience stated about the scientific and technologic topics of the Cafés. Furthermore, this paper draws a line for us to plan the future sessions of the Café from an inclusive science approach in order to consolidate in Morelia as a PCST forum to share and impel a higher increase of scientific culture in society.

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

BACK TO TOP