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Science live: Surveying the landscape of live public science events

Durant, John; Buckley, Nicola; Comerford, Dane; Fogg-Rogers, Laura A.; Fooshee, Julie; Lewenstein, Bruce; Wiehe, Ben

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John Durant

Nicola Buckley

Dane Comerford

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Dr Laura Fogg Rogers
Associate Professor of Knowledge Exchange in Engineering

Julie Fooshee

Bruce Lewenstein

Ben Wiehe


The field of informal science learning and communication is comprised of many sectors—after school programs, science center exhibitions and programs, television and film, print and new media, to name just a few. Each of these is understood to make unique contributions, present unique opportunities, and require unique support. Science Live began with the observation that it time to similarly acknowledge the practice of live public science events.
Public science events are live, in-person programs designed to engage publics with science in a social context that is at least as meaningful as the content and messages delivered. The overall objective of Science Live is to support the development of a distinct professional sector based on live public science events so that the practitioners, researchers, and external supporters of this sector are able to maximize the beneficial impacts of events and widen participation in this activity.
The following survey of the live public science events landscape is the product of a one-year, Phase I grant from the Science Learning+ funding program. This funding program has enabled Science Live to take a transatlantic approach, with an initial focus on fostering connections between the US and UK,and between practitioners and researchers.
The following landscape survey is based on informal conversations, phone interviews following a research protocol, and two project convenings, one each in the US and UK. A total of 111 practitioners and researchers attended project convenings, and scores more were consulted by phone.
The many quotes appearing in the following pages are taken directly from these conversations. This landscape survey seeks to summarize a year of dialogue, but is not explicitly endorsed by the many practitioners and researchers that participated.
The world of live public science events is wide, varied, and rapidly changing. There is no way to represent the many initiatives that populate this remarkable landscape in a way that properly does each justice. Please see for links to participating programs, research,and sites for further exploration.


Durant, J., Buckley, N., Comerford, D., Fogg-Rogers, L. A., Fooshee, J., Lewenstein, B., & Wiehe, B. (2016). Science live: Surveying the landscape of live public science events

Report Type Project Report
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 15, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 15, 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords live science events, science communication, public engagement, festivals
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