Meet TEMI at the ECSITE conference

Meet the TEMI project at the ECSITE Annual Conference in Graz, on Friday June the 10th, at  14:30. The Ecsite Annual Conference is the most prominent meeting of science engagement professionals in Europe, bringing together 1,000 professionals from all over Europe. TEMI has organised a reverse session and invited Aniello Mennella, professor at the University of Milan (Italy), Blazej Dawidson, head of Science and Art Events Lab at the Copernicus Science Centre (Poland) and Malka Yayon, Chemistry Teacher  at Katzir High School (Israel) to bring their experience about “Spectacular science: controversial?”.

Theatrical plays, magic shows, stand-up comedies, mystery games… are tools used to engage the public in science centres, but also in schools and research institutes. On the one hand, they represent an effective engagement tool, in particular for underserved audiences. On the other hand, they risk to reflect an old-fashioned view of communication, a way to “make the pill easier to swallow”, or to take attention away from the social implications of science. Projects like TEMI and PERFORM are exploring spectacular science in a Responsible Research and Innovation perspective. They are developing an articulated methodology based on the use of mysteries and performing arts in different learning environments, such as science centres (PERFORM) and the classroom (TEMI). Considerations from a science centre explainer, a scientist and a teacher will spark a discussion on the controversial use of spectacular science for public engagement. The issue is not new, but needs a continuous update to overcome stereotypes, avoid disconnecting science learning from the real world, and stimulate a dialogue between science centres and other relevant actors such as teachers and researchers.