The visibility of the work of (natural) scientists and engineers is one of the requirements of the new EU-Framework, as mentioned in the RRI paper (Responsible Research and Innovation, by EU commission). Often this visibility is made in a one-way-construction via flyers, advertising videos, exhibitions, invitation to open days etc..
An independent, responsible citizen needs a basic knowledge and all relevant information to fully participating in our society and to engaging themselves into decision processes. As long as information on science and technology is limited to the "specialists", the participation of citizens is reduced to that space the specialists allow the public to join in.
This problem will be addressed in our project by introducing interactive information tools, because from our experiences as researchers those methods would be more effective. Interactive means to enable any visitor to ask his or her own question or to proceed the information given in his or her own speed or his or her individual connection to knowledge already existing. This enables an individualized learning process and gaining knowledge in an own, self-directed way helps also to foster emancipation. So there is no longer a feeling, that experts mentioned above are alone responsible to help our society out of scientific or technological problems.
the demand of RRI needs citizens, who are able to proceed information
on their own and to use the results to participate in the public decision making.
Parallel “SciVis” offers opportunities for future teachers to develop a more engaging way of teaching. Any information on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is not offered in traditional way from an expert to novices, but in an interactive way enabling participation in the learning process.
By this the tools can be seen as learning opportunities to change their vision of learning into a participatory way, enabling emancipation and responsible citizenship.
The collaborating universities and institutions have individual experience in this field, varying between holiday camps, newspaper articles, teaching modules for university students, online games with STEM content, and designing exhibitions. A new method, which is not yet implemented into practice, is interactive computer-screens at public places.
The Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
P.J. Šafarik University in Kosice
Faculty of Science
Univerzita Karlova v Praze
Center for the Promotion of Science