Museums and museums: the picture of scientific museums

In the field of scientific communication in Europe, science centres have gained increasing importance over the last ten years. Italy, beyond the City of Science in Naples, is also planning the set up of more science centres throughout the country. Their hands-on style makes them something between a museum and a fun fair and, beyond the issue of merit, no doubt the success of many science centres also depends on the fun offered. It is important then to be able to assess to what extent people can actually make use of the proposed themes. This report tries to point out the dialogue opportunities between science museums and people1. A questionnaire has been submitted to two scientific secondary schools in Trent and Busto Arsizio (Varese) as a pilot study in this research. A research of this kind should not limit itself to museums, because public opinion on scientific subjects is also influenced by more popular and widespread media such as newspapers and television. Together with people, museums should therefore also be able to make good use of these media and offer opportunities for investigating and going into detail about given topics that the other media deal with without leaving enough time for thinking them over.