The ‘Shell Questacon Science Circus’ is a collaboration between The Australian National University and The National Science and Technology Centre.  The ‘Science Circus’ has been presenting science shows to people throughout Australia for the past fifteen years and also visits remote areas of the country and aboriginal communities. The geographic isolation of many remote communities within Australia means that visits from programs like the ‘Shell Questacon Science Circus’ are both costly and infrequent, thus the relevance and success of visits to these remote communities has been under review.  In 2000, the format of the visits was changed and proved very successful.  The ‘Science Circus’ presenters received three days of cross-cultural training from staff and associates of ‘Tandanya’, an aboriginal cultural centre in Adelaide.  Following this training, teams of two or three presenters travelled to aboriginal communities throughout South Australia where they spent several days.  Within the communities they presented science shows within the community schools, worked with the teachers at the schools and, importantly, were able to able to interact with other members of the community.  The broader interaction with members of indigenous communities provided an excellent opportunity for cultural and technological exchange in addition to raising scientific awareness.  It is intended that the ‘Shell Questacon Science Circus’ program used in 2000 will be further developed to incorporate examples of traditional indigenous technologies into the presentations.  Similar programs in the future will also aim to visit and exchange ideas with indigenous communities throughout regional Australia.
 

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The relevance of science communication in geographically remote communities and indigenous communities throughout Australia

Peter Mascini   The National Science and Technology Centre, Australia, and The Australian National University, Canberra.

The ‘Shell Questacon Science Circus’ is a collaboration between The Australian National University and The National Science and Technology Centre.  The ‘Science Circus’ has been presenting science shows to people throughout Australia for the past fifteen years and also visits remote areas of the country and aboriginal communities. The geographic isolation of many remote communities within Australia means that visits from programs like the ‘Shell Questacon Science Circus’ are both costly and infrequent, thus the relevance and success of visits to these remote communities has been under review.  In 2000, the format of the visits was changed and proved very successful.  The ‘Science Circus’ presenters received three days of cross-cultural training from staff and associates of ‘Tandanya’, an aboriginal cultural centre in Adelaide.  Following this training, teams of two or three presenters travelled to aboriginal communities throughout South Australia where they spent several days.  Within the communities they presented science shows within the community schools, worked with the teachers at the schools and, importantly, were able to able to interact with other members of the community.  The broader interaction with members of indigenous communities provided an excellent opportunity for cultural and technological exchange in addition to raising scientific awareness.  It is intended that the ‘Shell Questacon Science Circus’ program used in 2000 will be further developed to incorporate examples of traditional indigenous technologies into the presentations.  Similar programs in the future will also aim to visit and exchange ideas with indigenous communities throughout regional Australia.
 

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

BACK TO TOP