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Dec 19, 2014 Commentary
From liquid nitrogen to public engagement and city planning: the changing role of science events

by Jan Riise and Leonardo Alfonsi

Public understanding of science has been replaced by engagement and participation, and science events, like festivals and science days, have become significant actors by offering direct contacts between scientists, public and policy-makers, as opportunities to engage and participate. After more than 20 years of festivals and events, the need for impact evidence is strong, although it is acknowledged that it will have to be based on complex data and observations. Many science events look for collaboration within the cultural sector. Social inclusion and participation in local and regional development are other important issues for the science events community.

Volume 13 • Issue 04 • 2014

Dec 21, 2005 Commentary
Literature review

by Leonardo Alfonsi

Few research studies have been conducted on the interpreter’s role in a Science Centre. Although the importance of this role is always stressed by museum practitioners, it seems that anecdotal evidence is the main source of information on this theme. The experience of a visitor in a Science Centre as well as in other museums has, among other things, well defined social dimensions. These dimensions are crucial in determining the quality and enjoyment of a visitor’s experience. There is evidence that suggests visitors go to a museum to meet others. Among the people that visitors meet in a Science Centre are interpreters, who help them not only to use and understand the exhibits but also to become familiar with a new environment. The following sections will illustrate what research studies say about interpreters, considering their twofold relation with visitors and exhibit developers.

Volume 4 • Issue 04 • 2005