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Home Archive volume 09, 2010 Issue 02, june 2010 Engagement tools for scientific governance More scientists and less surrogates
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More scientists and less surrogates



Frank Burnet, now an independent consultant, was the director of the unit of Science Communication at the University of the West of England, and his work and research experience has mainly focused on the communication relation between science and society. In addition, Frank contributed to the development of the project “Meet the Gene Machine”, a discussion format concerning topical science issues. The positive aspect of participation games is the increase in the participants’ awareness of important issues, provided that the game experience is followed by structured discussion. In this case a fundamental role is played not only by the mediator, but also by the scientist. The presence of an expert, and not so much of a communicator, is crucial if you really want to create a contact between scientific world and civil society. An unsolved issue is what the ideal place for effective formal discussion on scientific topics among adults would be: indeed, science centres appear to be heavily associated with the academic establishment on the one hand, and with children entertainment places on the other. Furthermore, real channels for connection and communication exchange with decision makers are still lacking.


Frank Burnet


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