"Dominant model" and "Equilibrium model" were two different patterns in communication used to explain the relationship between mass communicators and receivers. "Dominant model was prevalent in conventional science popularization, which was one way communication, from communicators to receivers with little feedback. "Equilibrium model" saw communication process was bidirectional—information was not only flow from communicators to receivers, but also the opposite direction. "Equilibrium model" was developed to meet today’s communication value which promote "equality" and "interaction".

In China, science and technology museums was a large group, besides China Science and Technology Museum
(CSTM), nearly each province has its own science and technology museum. They were featured as the primary force in mass science popularization and technology diffusion. However, for a long time, even today, most of the museums took "Dominant model" as their main communication method. Reflecting on the current situation, China Scienceand Technology Museum has explored "Equilibrium model" to upgrade its communication method, to construct a scientific community.

Main efforts included:
a. Interactive exhibition. In addition to increase participation in interactive exhibitions, CSTM took use of different channels and methods to balance the relationship between communicators and receivers. Before hold a new exhibition, CSTM do a large scale investigation to collect audience’s ideas and demands, which give audience a way to express their science popularization needs, and also a guide exhibition design. During the exhibition, there will be several facilitators, they can have a face to face communication with audience. CSTM also use Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) to track audience, measure their preferences. And there is a timely evaluation after the exhibition.
b. Digital museum and network. China Digital Science and Technology Museum (CDSTM) took use of digital technology, put exhibition, education activities and science knowledge on the internet, people are easily to click and participate. There also was an internet forum, people can exchange ideas and make suggestions freely. With the help of internet, CSTM built a network with local museum and many international museum, which give users a much broader show.
c. Participatory science laboratory (PSL) is a platform for the public to participate the science research process. CSTM has built four PSL, each one will invite scientists to guide the public do the science research. The public can discuss with scientists, give suggestion to improve the experimental procedure and gain knowledge and information during the participatory process.
d. Scientists forum. From year 2010, CSTM invite famous scientists to give lecture in term of current hot science issues. The public can have a face to face discussion with these scientists and exchange ideas. These are examples of efforts that CSTM has done to improve the effectiveness of science communication,
which can be simply described in the following figure:
Figure 4:“Equilibrium model” of CSTM
 

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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Constructive study on equilibrium model of science communication
A case from China science and technology museum

Yuhua Liu   Research &Planning Department of China Science and Technology Museum

Li Zhang   Development Research Center of China Association for Science and Technology

"Dominant model" and "Equilibrium model" were two different patterns in communication used to explain the relationship between mass communicators and receivers. "Dominant model was prevalent in conventional science popularization, which was one way communication, from communicators to receivers with little feedback. "Equilibrium model" saw communication process was bidirectional—information was not only flow from communicators to receivers, but also the opposite direction. "Equilibrium model" was developed to meet today’s communication value which promote "equality" and "interaction".

In China, science and technology museums was a large group, besides China Science and Technology Museum
(CSTM), nearly each province has its own science and technology museum. They were featured as the primary force in mass science popularization and technology diffusion. However, for a long time, even today, most of the museums took "Dominant model" as their main communication method. Reflecting on the current situation, China Scienceand Technology Museum has explored "Equilibrium model" to upgrade its communication method, to construct a scientific community.

Main efforts included:
a. Interactive exhibition. In addition to increase participation in interactive exhibitions, CSTM took use of different channels and methods to balance the relationship between communicators and receivers. Before hold a new exhibition, CSTM do a large scale investigation to collect audience’s ideas and demands, which give audience a way to express their science popularization needs, and also a guide exhibition design. During the exhibition, there will be several facilitators, they can have a face to face communication with audience. CSTM also use Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) to track audience, measure their preferences. And there is a timely evaluation after the exhibition.
b. Digital museum and network. China Digital Science and Technology Museum (CDSTM) took use of digital technology, put exhibition, education activities and science knowledge on the internet, people are easily to click and participate. There also was an internet forum, people can exchange ideas and make suggestions freely. With the help of internet, CSTM built a network with local museum and many international museum, which give users a much broader show.
c. Participatory science laboratory (PSL) is a platform for the public to participate the science research process. CSTM has built four PSL, each one will invite scientists to guide the public do the science research. The public can discuss with scientists, give suggestion to improve the experimental procedure and gain knowledge and information during the participatory process.
d. Scientists forum. From year 2010, CSTM invite famous scientists to give lecture in term of current hot science issues. The public can have a face to face discussion with these scientists and exchange ideas. These are examples of efforts that CSTM has done to improve the effectiveness of science communication,
which can be simply described in the following figure:
Figure 4:“Equilibrium model” of CSTM
 

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

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