Most countries have national programs to increase the public awareness and understanding of science.  The assumption behind the programs is that a scientifically-literate population will ultimately lead to healthy and economically prosperous country.
 
How do we know if these programs achieve their aims?  Are they evaluated, and if so, what methods are used?
 
The paper looks at the way the Australian Science and Technology Awareness Program has been evaluated, and comments on the limitations of the methods used.  We propose a simple five point model for evaluation.
 
Our conclusion is that the credibility of programs designed to lift PCST will be undermined unless science communicators devote more resources to eva

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Why do governments spend money on national programs of science awareness?

Toss Gascoigne   Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological

Jenni Metcalfe   Econnect

Most countries have national programs to increase the public awareness and understanding of science.  The assumption behind the programs is that a scientifically-literate population will ultimately lead to healthy and economically prosperous country.
 
How do we know if these programs achieve their aims?  Are they evaluated, and if so, what methods are used?
 
The paper looks at the way the Australian Science and Technology Awareness Program has been evaluated, and comments on the limitations of the methods used.  We propose a simple five point model for evaluation.
 
Our conclusion is that the credibility of programs designed to lift PCST will be undermined unless science communicators devote more resources to eva

[PDF 37.00 kB]Download the full paper (PDF 37.00 kB)

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