My impression of the first and only Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) conference I’ve attended (Malmö in 2008) was quite mixed. The academic quality wasn’t particularly high, there were pretty few theoretically interesting talks, not much surprising stuff, almost no nerds around, no sudden bursts of creativity — and new media were (with few exceptions 🙂 totally absent. The whole thing was smoothly organised but there was an aura of a public and business management hanging over the conference venue. I think these biannual meetings are a major hang-out for science communication managers.
But things can change for the better. And even better if researchers and curators from science, technology and medical museums were to attend (there was almost none in 2008). The next meeting will be held in Firenze in April 2012, and the programme will include themes such as:
- What does quality mean in science communication?
- Evaluating public communication of science
- Art and/in science communication
- Ethics and aesthetics of science communication
- Reflexive challenges: communicating PCST?
- Emerging trends and issues in science communication
- Changing media, changing formats, changing science communication models?
- Public communication of technology: the ‘Cinderella’ of PCST?
In other words, a lot of themes that are central to curators and researchers in museums of science, technology and medicine. Deadline for proposals is 30 September. More here http://www.pcst2012.org.