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Call for tender: Study of Trends in Science Communication

PLACES is a four-year European project, which began in June 2010, coordinated by Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums (www.ecsite.eu).

The project is developing the concept of the European City of Scientific Culture by creating City Partnerships. These partnerships unite nearly 70 science centres, museums, festivals and events, in cooperation with local authorities, and ten European regional networks. The project facilitates collaboration among these alliances to structure their science communication activities and allow them to share tools, resources and results.

PLACES is developing a wealth of data, best practices and innovative strategies related to science in society issues. In addition to enriching the science communication field in general, PLACES will produce concrete recommendations for policymakers and the EU regarding citizen engagement, local authorities and the key role of science communicators in developing European Cities of Scientific Culture.

View a description of the project here: www.openplaces.eu/resources Within the scope of the project, Ecsite is seeking to obtain a clear analysis of the current trends in science communication. This analysis will provide essential input to the development of the model(s) of the European Cities of Scientific Culture. In addition, this study will contribute to analysis of expectations for science communication policies and will help define the European panorama of local realities in science communication.

Scope of the study and expected outcomes

The main sources of data for analysis are:

  • Abstracts of presentations given at the Ecsite (www.ecsite.eu) Annual Conferences, from 2007-2012
  • Content of Eusea (www.eusea.org) Annual Meetings
  • Data collected from PLACES City Partnerships, concerning the Local Science Communication Actors: existing data already collected by the project should be analyzed and further data should be collected according to necessity. Other possible sources of data are:
  • Data and resources from ERRIN’s (www.errin.eu) Science in Society Group, namely the outcomes of PLACES regional workshops
  • The abstracts of other Science Communication Conferences, when available The study should be looking at if and how science communication relates with social, economic and political realities. To this end, the following perspectives should be considered:
  • Do the issues and topics addressed by science communication connect with social, economic and political realities?
  • Are there different typologies of science communication that reflect specific local dynamics?
  • Have science communication aims and practices changed significantly in the last years?

The person or team performing this study will be responsible for:

  • Developing the strategy for the analysis, in accordance with Ecsite: this should include a description of the perspectives of analysis, of the data to be used, and of the methodology for the analysis.
  • Developing the analysis tools.
  • Performing the analysis.
  • Providing a final report by 30 April 2013.

NOTICE: The methodology and tools for the analysis should be applicable as permanent instruments for data collection and analysis in this field.


The budget is EUR 15,000 and includes all costs (communication expenses, materials and taxes if applicable).

Candidate selection will take into consideration the following aspects:

  • Experience in research in science communication and in social studies.
  • Familiarity with the activities of science communication institutions.
  • Candidates must work in a EU country.

Interested applicants should submit the following documents:

  • a description of the methodology they would use to develop this study (two pages maximum)
  • a short CV (two pages per person, maximum)

Deadline for submission: 6 November 2012.