PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


The audience
A key participant in the science communication process

Camila Mantovani  

Minas faz Ciência is a scientific communication project developed by the Foundation for Research Support of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) in its Program for Communication of Science, Technology and Innovation (PCCT). Among the actions taken by the program there are a quarterly magazine, a blog, a YouTube channel, a series of podcasts and profiles on Twitter and Facebook. In the context of scientific communication, the program has sought not only to promote it, but also to discuss the limits and possibilities of this practice. A key challenge has been to identify and characterize the audience of the products and services aiming to generate better targeting of communication actions. Currently, the research approaches that seek to know and understand public behavior have made use of consumer research strategies, especially those using digital tools for information gathering. For each objective, there are several approaches, with Experience Design being one of them. In this case, the organization is able to better understand its stakeholders, given the plural and dynamic contexts in which they are inserted while, simultaneously, casting a look at itself. Drawing on these possibilities, between November 2014 and February 2015, the program has provided an online survey to identify the Minas faz Ciência audience profile and thus optimize the scientific communication actions. The initial analysis of the collected responses (1158) presented an overview of the public and also the opportunity to review concepts and actions related to scientific communication. Much of the respondents know the magazine, but are unaware of the other channels. In addition, most can be considered a specialized audience, because they are directly linked to institutions of teaching and/or research. We therefore expect that, through research, publications, events and experiences with new media, we move forward in the research about participation and scientific communication.

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