What is it?
Mad cow disease, avian flu or climate change are some of the big science issues that have hit the news in recent years. In order to provide basic information on these hot topics to a wide audience, Museos Cientificos Coruñeses have been publishing simple illustrated monographies based on questions asked to us by real people. The monographies are distributed for free with newspapers on a sunday, and then delivered to doctor´s wainting rooms, libraries, pubs and other places where they can be casually read. The idea is to provide clear, attractive and trustworthy information on the particular aspects that may worry the public about important discoveries or breakthroughs in science. The collection of monographies also include issues on health effects of mobile phones, human cloning or evolution.
Does it work?
We think the activity is an extremely effective one for a medium level of cost. It was chosen by ECSITE as an example of good practice in science communication (2009).
Advice if you’re thinking of trying it:
Social media, along with classic telephone and email. provide powerful means for people to express their worries and questions on current scientific issues. An important finding upon opening these channels is that what people are most interested in is not usually what experts consider more relevant. This means that science communication projects should research and address the expectations and prejudices of the public as well as provide information regarded as relevant by the experts.
Contact for more information
Fran Armesto (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marcos Pérez (email@example.com)