Publications including this keyword are listed below.
Science musums and science centres are wonderful places to host, support and mediate the dialogue between science and society. In fact, they are a natural crossroad where scientists, general public, media and insitutions for formal and informal learning meet. During the recent political and health crisis concerning the rubbish treatment in the Italian region of Campania, the science centre "Città della Scienza" has promoted an unusual dialogue between citizens and scientists.
Dialogue in science communication is a necessity - everybody agrees on it - because science and technology issues are involved in so many aspects of the citizens life, and in so many cases can raise suspects, fears, worries or, on the contrary, expectations and hopes. But who are the possible interlocutors for scientists and policy-makers? Everybody, says Luisa Massarani, beginning with children and teenagers. Also in such controversial and sensitive issues like AIDS or GMO.
Dialogical models in science communication produce effective and satisfactory experiences, also when hard sciences (like astrophysics or cosmology) are concerned. But those efforts to reach the public can be of modest impact since the public is no longer (or not sufficiently) interested in science. The reason of this lack of interest is not that science is an alien topic, but that contemporary science and technology have ceased to offer a convincing model for the human progress.
Near the turn of the Century, a woman in her 90s from Dodge City, Kansas was riding her horse near the Pecos River and she described it as a sea of saltgrasses...You had to be very close to the river to see it because the grass was so high You could drink the water out of the springs in this area. I used to ride down to the Pecos River on horseback...There was a lot more water in it back then. We grew cantaloupes...and people were amazed at how sweet they were... We stopped because the water [became] was too salty. In 1903, fresh watercress and ferns were growing at Independence Springs [on the Lower Pecos River]...and there were pools of catfish and silver bass. Residents along Independence Creek sold minnows and other bait fish they took from the river. We had a terrible flood in 1941 and 1942 which breached Zimmerman Dam. The river at some places was 10 miles wide. Floodwater covered the valley and the dam was washed out. It seems there is always less water in the Pecos than we need... I think the water quality is worse now-- not that the Pecos River was ever beautiful and clear. When my grandfather got here 110 years ago, they had a lot of water problems then. The prospect of fixing the saltcedar problem and making this area come back the way it was 100 years ago looks bleak for to me...I don't know if we can do that --Quotes from long-time residents of the Pecos River of Texas
Sometimes scientists live real dramas or undergo social and psychological conflicts which have a positive or negative influence on the development and recognition of their research, discoveries and inventions in society, including the way they are recorded in history. This being so, the question is: to what extent can science be communicated to the public at large by the use of scientists' biographies as a motivational strategy? The controversy arises from the fact that usual (classical) science has traditionally argued for the separation (or de-linking) of the research (the object) from the researcher (the subject).Thus, if the above-mentioned motivational strategy is used in scientific communication, it could break a dominant methodological trend and consequently lead to a questioning of the myth of axiological neutrality in science. The communication of science by means of scientists' biographies could be useful for reaching a specific public, more directed towards emotional aspects, thereby awakening its interest in science, even amid cultural differences and in environments where interest in science and its utility is lacking. It could also reveal human aspects of the everyday life of scientists, bringing them closer to the public at large, which would contribute to the dissemination of science and knowledge.
This paper addresses the role of museums in education in science and technology through the discussion of a specific project entitled EST “Educate in Science and Technology”. The Project puts together methodologies and activities through which museums can be used as resources for long-term project work. In-service training for teachers, work in class with learning kits or with materials brought in by a Science Van, and visits to the museum are planned and developed jointly by museum experts and teachers. The Project proposes a teaching and learning model which sees the museum experience as central and integral part of a teaching and learning process with more effective outcomes. The analysis of the Project activities and methodologies is based on the work carried out at the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci, which perceives the learner (the visitor) at the heart of its educational methodologies and provision.
What professional future awaits those who have attended a school in science communication? This has become an ever more urgent question, when you consider the proliferation of Masters and post-graduate courses that provide on different levels a training for science communicators in Europe and all over the world. In Italy, the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste has been for fourteen years now the seat for a Master’s degree in Science Communication that has graduated over 170 students. This letter illustrates the results of a survey carried out in order to identify the job opportunities they have been offered and the role played in their career by their Master’s degree. Over 70% of the interviewees are now working in the field of science communication and they told us that the Master has played an important role in finding a job, thus highlighting the importance of this school as a training, cultural and professional centre.
What pushed His Excellency Enrico Fermi, acclaimed Academician of Italy entitled to a state car and driver, to leave Italy all of a sudden in December 1938 in order to reach New York, after a short stop in Stockholm for the ceremony that celebrated him as a Nobel laureate for physics, and to accept a job as a simple physics lecturer at the Columbia University?
John Ziman with his old-fashioned ways, was a real British gentleman of the colonies. Born and raised in New Zealand, Ziman belonged to that large group of men and women that went back to their fathers’ land in the last century from the Commonwealth countries. In many cases, they were individuals with an outstanding intellect and, therefore, a real tresure trove for Great Britain, which drew from those remote places not only gems, tea, perfumes and raw materials, but also enlightened minds and reliable personalities.
A physicist. That is what John Ziman was in the beginning. As he tells us in “On being a physicist,” this implies a kind of nationality, that is, a laboriously learned identity that, at the end of the day, becomes natural. Physics was for him a way of seeing and a way of thinking, inextricably embedded in his own being: “a deeply rooted mode of personal existence.”