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2 publications found

Oct 25, 2021 Article
“Science Festival” may not mean what we think it means: an analysis of how researchers and practitioners use this term

by J. Ross Ramsey and Todd Boyette

The modern science festival movement has grown significantly since the Edinburgh International Science Festival launched in 1989. Hundreds of science festivals now occur annually and vary widely. This article examines how the term “science festival” is used within research and practice. We find that most research articles fail to describe the science festivals they study. A subsequent analysis of festival websites and other publicly available information confirms the wide variability of science festival formats, which suggests the need for descriptive information about science festivals in scholarly work.

Volume 20 • Issue 07 • 2021

Jan 28, 2019 Article
Does the messenger matter? Studying the impacts of scientists and engineers interacting with public audiences at science festival events

by Todd Boyette and J. Ross Ramsey

Over the past decade, science festival expos have emerged as popular opportunities for practicing scientists to engage in education outreach with public audiences. In this paper, a partial proportional odds model was used to analyze 5,498 surveys collected from attendees at 14 science expos around the United States. Respondents who report that they interacted with a scientist rated their experiences more positively than those who reported no such interaction on five categories: overall experience, learning, inspiration, fun, and awareness of STEM careers. The results indicate that scientists can positively affect audience perception of their experience at these large-scale public events.

Volume 18 • Issue 02 • 2019