Science institutions' distribution and their role in science communication access
Rodolfo Bezzon – University of Sao Paulo. Brazil
Alessandra Bizerra – University of Sao Paulo Brazil
Brazil is a continent-size country, with a diverse culture and even more diverse people. Despite all this richness, we have come to find our country has about 0.1 science center/museum per 100 thousand citizens, and some states do not have a single science institution while others have less than 5, meaning that these science institutions do not ensure science communication access. Other researches show that poor and working-class people, no matter what age and educational background, are the ones that hardly ever visit these places and also are the least interested in science and technology issues, but this also affects all social classes, because even the upper classes do not visit science center and museums frequently, which probably have to do with the low number of institutions per citizens cited previously. Building up the problem, Brazilians see religious leaders more reliable than scientists, contributing to an unsatisfying science communication (and also signaling we must do something about it). With all that said and using Cultural Historical Activity Theory framework to interpret this data, we have a lack of science-related out-of-school structures (science-culture ‘goods’) to communicate and keep our people interested in science and technology. Aiming to tackle this problem, we are conducting a research with two goals: first one, to map São Paulo state’s science and technology institutions and also their visitors, in an attempt to better understand and scale one of Brazil’s most populated state scientific ‘goods’ (in this case materialized as science centers and museums) and with that and our analysis, the second goal is to better inform politicians and stakeholders into actions and policies to improve our science communication.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.