In a comparative study of the visitor programmes at European research centres for physics in Germany, Greece, France/Switzerland and Italy, the contents and effects of this communication activity between the centres as producers of scientific knowledge and the public were analysed. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was used and more than 3 600 visitors were surveyed several times. The results promote the understanding of this traditional kind of PCST activity in various respects (e.g. visit effects) and make suggestions for improving communication with the public through visitor programmes. The research was funded by the European Union.
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