PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Opening the black box
A cross-national survey of visitors at European research centres

Monica De Pasquale-Jacobsson   CERN

Monika Kallfass   Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Federico Neresini   Observa-POSTER

Francesca Forno   Observa-POSTER

Hans Peter Peters   Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

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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