[ASC-list] Evaluating 'pop up' science experiences

Chris.Krishna-Pillay at csiro.au Chris.Krishna-Pillay at csiro.au
Tue Mar 8 00:56:24 UTC 2016

Hi Pete

Evaluating impact is really hard. In my mind it sits somewhere between a holy grail, a black art, a professional obligation and a futile pursuit. That said, as a driver of evaluating science communication/engagement efforts, I think it’s worth chasing.

The idea of taking science to the people is something that we have been driving for many years. An important component of this allowing a diversity of interest and values within specific events/activities as much as possible to maximize the likelihood of engagement.

Events and activities that we have coordinated that embrace this approach include Market of the Mind (http://re-science.org.au/science-event/market-mind-2649), Living Science at the Market (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEg-FXJlxUA) and Ologism (http://www.ologism.com/).

We have also done some exploration of interesting approaches to evaluating these endeavours. This has included observational analysis and embedded peer-assisted evaluation. Although we have not published any of this data, my colleague Carly Siebentritt included an overview of it at the ASC conference in 2014 (https://vimeo.com/71474898).

You might also be interested in a couple of reports prepared by Sweeney Research and Quantum Market Research, commissioned by the Victorian Government (http://dsdbi.vic.gov.au/publications-research-and-data/research-and-data/science-and-community-research).

You might also be interested in this 2014 piece in JCOM 2014 (http://jcom.sissa.it/sites/default/files/documents/JCOM_1301_2014_C04.pdf).

Chris KP

Chris Krishna-Pillay
Community Engagement Manager
CSIRO Education and Outreach
E chris.krishna-pillay at csiro.au<mailto:chris.krishna-pillay at csiro.au>T +61 3 9545 2524
Private Bag 10, Clayton South VIC 3169

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From: ASC-list <asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au>> on behalf of Pete Wheeler <pete.wheeler at uwa.edu.au<mailto:pete.wheeler at uwa.edu.au>>
Date: Monday, 7 March 2016 at 6:44 PM
To: Aus Sci Com - Discussions Discussions <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>>
Subject: [ASC-list] Evaluating 'pop up' science experiences

Dear ASC Brains Trust,
I’m looking for a little help when it comes to evaluating the impact of ‘pop up’ science events. We do a form of sidewalk astronomy that we call ‘Guerrilla Astronomy’, where we take telescopes out and put them down in places where ’normal’ folk happen to be. Places like beach car parks, jogging hotspots, the Perth foreshore, other non-astro events etc.

I’d like to evaluate this particular activity in the context of what it does (if anything) for public attitudes towards science, and whether it’s meely a short term ‘science sugar’ hit or something that actually helps contribute to something more.

If you’ve read an interesting paper in this area or know of someone that’s done or doing some work relating to pop up science events, please let me know!


Pete Wheeler
Outreach, Education & Communications Manager

Ph: +61 8 6488 7758
Ph: +61 423 98 2018
ICRAR: Discovering the hidden Universe through radio astronomy
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