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By the visitor, for the visitor and with the visitor

How do we work collaboratively with our audiences, within the walls of our organisations and outside them? This session will present ideas from the forefront of audience engagement which reflect the social value of science centres in their role to provide opportunities for citizen science to flourish and have meaning. If the benefits in community-based collaborative projects are truly reciprocal and mutual, then the control of the project will be more equal and the participating museum or science centre will be playing a supporting role rather than a controlling one. This requires a level of trust on both sides, which is built up through long-term engagement.

Consultation with communities is a first step but we are looking beyond that, at the relationship of trust that gives communities a real voice in the project and empowers them. This session takes a deep dive into methodologies for community engagement with examples from organisations with differing aims and strategies. Come along, join the discussion and help us understand the pathway towards ever deeper participation - the true meaning of co-curation/co-production.


Audience Engagement Advisor
Lizzy Moriarty
United Kingdom

Session speakers

Enrico Tombesi - Director Centro della Scienza POST
Fondazione Golinelli
A good school project based on high quality resources and developed together with students and teachers can be a “silver bullet” to push boundaries and let science get in touch with kids who can potentially be lifetime science-lovers. I’ve experimented in Perugia an engaging project to produce temporary exhibitions where 14-year-old students experienced the role of curator and of exhibition explainer working side by side with experts in science dissemination and with their teachers.
Events & Research Co-Ordinator
Science Gallery London
Science Gallery places great value on the role of its target audience of 15-25 year olds, establishing dedicated Youth Advisory Groups tasked with assisting in the planning, curation, and production of the Gallery space and events held in it. Gillian and Mel will discuss events programs helmed by the Young Leaders (Science Gallery London) and Young Leo's (Science Gallery Dublin) examining what worked, what didn't and what our Youth Communities can teach us about co-production
Senior Curator
Wellcome Collection seeks to explore and challenge the way people think and feel about health. Our interdisciplinary programme works collaboratively with artists, scientists, and 14+ audiences both within our museum in London, around the UK and internationally. Exploring ground-breaking projects such as A Museum of Modern Nature (2017), I will discuss how we are working to build profound connections with audiences on our doorstep and around the world.
PhD-Researcher & Lecturer Media Studies | Mediatised Experiences in Heritage
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences has researched which participatory practices Dutch museums often use to connect to their visitors and if/how these differ from interactive experiences. Additionally, we dived into the reactions and behaviours of visitors during a visit to several exhibitions and found that only a small segment was actually interested in participatory practices. However, is that because visitors don't want to or because they feel they are not allowed to?