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Science centres as research facilities

17.06.2023 | 16:30 - 17:45

Saturday 17 Jun 2023

Girolamo Cassar Hall

Girolamo Cassar Hall
Strategy & vision

Productive interfaces between research institutions and other social actors are becoming an intrinsic feature of knowledge production for the XXI century. What is the role of science centres in the process of production of knowledge? What unique opportunities do they offer as spaces for knowledge development? What does this knowledge relate to? Do we have examples proving that museums can lead to better (original, robust, relevant, ethical) research? At the same time, a basically symmetrical question concerns universities. What role do their cultural activities play in science communication? What is the complementarity of formal and non-formal education here?

This topic is an ongoing thread in Ecsite conference and Spokes magazine for several years. In 2022, K. Arnold, MJ Gorman, and A. Steinhausser questioned the potential of science centres as research infrastructures. We propose to continue the discussion by welcoming new provoking questions and examples.

Outcomes: what will participants get from this session? Skills, knowledge, experience etc.

The session will end with two outcomes:

1. Stimulated by the questioning of the invited participants, all participants will share their experiences, identify obstacles, gain awareness about new professional skills needed to fulfill this emerging new mission.

2. Participants will have the opportunity to network and share experiences about the role of research and communication their uniqueness, significance and role in the overall process of developing knowledge.


Director of science mediation and education

Session speakers

Pedro Pombo
A perspective from Fabrica - Ciencia Viva - Aveiro (PT)
Director of Innovations
A perspective from Copernican Revolution Lab , Copernicus Science Centre (PL) In 2023, we opened the Copernican Revolution Lab: the R&D center of the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, aimed at creating new solutions for education and science communication. Our Lab is where the knowledge development process intersects with the creation of solutions, open to our partners' and visitors' active participation and involvement. I will present the motivations that led to the choice of developing the Lab, and share the enthusiasm of creating products and solution together with our audiences.
Member of the Board of Directors of Ciência Viva /University Professor Astronomy & Society
A perspective from Leiden University (NL). Science centers and untapped resources for research. Every day thousands of individuals engage with science & technology in science centers. These numbers of visitors and participants have an enormous potential for large-scale research studies in science & society that go beyond simple impact assessment of selected activities. It is important to have social scientists working with science centers to develop a long-term strategy to use science centers as a research infrastructure.

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