Why: Scientific communication, understood as the process of public transmission and diffusion of scientific knowledge, holds a key place in the development of society. Campus Gutenberg is created under the convincement that succeeding in a knowledge society goes beyond just communicating scientific results. The communication system is experiencing a transformation in formats and channels which parallels the one in research, creating important challenges to producers and consumers of scientific information.
Target audience: Scientists, physicians, journalists, professionals in museums and science centers and institutional communication agents (including research centers, universities, pharmaceutical laboratories, NGOs, public administrations and cultural managers) and science lovers, as active players in the process of social communication of science and play an increasingly recognized role.
How: Annual open space which fosters debate around scientific culture and its dissemination, shows the different and emerging channels, formats and strategies and, most importantly, strengthens the links between scientists, scientific and general journalists and the general population interested in scientific culture. Participation is free, and it includes activities spontaneously proposed by professionals willing to take part in it.
Two indicators show the interest and demand that the event had within the community in its first Edition (14-15 Sept 2011):
Physical participation: it drew an audience of 330 people, more than doubling expectations, including science enthusiasts from all over Spain, best-selling communicators, university professors, general journalists, communication directors of research centers, students, translators and, most importantly, science lovers. Both the Spanish and Catalan Associations of Science Communication took active part in the event, as well as the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT), further promoting its visibility across the target audience.
Virtual participation: The 2.0 strategy led to #CGutenberg becoming trending topic in Spain, allowing that a greater number of people followed it live (events were streamed), generating an additional second “virtual” agora.
Three fundamental aspects were specially considered:
1) Bottom-up program
2) Interactivity, including almost all activities time and space for discussion
3) Personalization, giving the attendants a wide offer of activities and complete freedom to configure the program best suiting their needs and interests.
Conceived as an open and participative space since its very first beginning, it looked for the participation of the most experienced science communicators, the youngest and the beginners. Organizers sent an open call to students of science communication, journalists, institutional communicators, science communicators working in science museums and scientists from a variety of fields. Questions to debate, proposal of activities or training workshops, as well of proposal of particular key speakers were gathered from this call and helped elaborate the program.
The physical part took place at the UPF Campus of Communication and consisted in simultaneous activities (sometimes participants could choose among 7 different activities), including more than 20 training workshops, 6 round tables, 7 “micro-dialogues”, 10 pecha kuchas, 2 exhibitions, a continuous and open exhibition of Films and documentaries, a participation wall, a networking space and an open meeting activity - “Beers4science”.
The virtual program included a blog, a facebook group, the streaming of plenary sessions, a following on twitter (under the hastag #cgutenberg) and a collaborative relate by stor.i.fy, creating an open forum to discuss scientific culture, dissemination, current changes and strategies for the future.
Some of the activities:
- Multi-format dissemination lab: tools to adapt news to different dissemination formats: written press, blog, story-board for TV, radio. At the end, input was merged through twitter.
- Innovation in Communications: different ways to communicate issues of scientific relevance, using initiatives promoted by the students of the master in scientific communication at IDEC-UPF.
- Creativity applied to scientific writing: new methodologies and techniques for the preparation of dissemination material of scientific content
- Design of dissemination activities with public. Co-creation: techniques and tools to involve the general public in the process of designing a dissemination activity, so that it becomes more attractive to them.
- Cyber activism for scientific communication: introduction to the use of advanced internet tools for the search and dissemination of material in the web, from the Wikileaks experience.
b) Pecha Kucha jam: Concise exposition of a topic, project or methodology - max. 6,40 min. The goal was to share different ideas with the public while maintaining their interest. On a stage, each presenter used different types of props and resources to portray their ideas. These sessions were carried out by radio hosts, specialized in presenting science in an amusing way without losing rigour. Additionally, they introduced the audience to some of the key aspects of their radio show . Examples:
- Bioart, a bridge between sciences and humanities?: initiatives from artists using same techniques and materials as researchers to foster, in a rather creative and original way, discussion on scientific innovation
- How to commit the perfect experiment? A well-known science journalist explained live, and using different experiments, how to attract attention and promote the learning of scientific concepts.
- Revolutions and engines: The expert, mechanical engineer, proposed discussion around aspects in technological creativity though a short time travel through inventions which revolutionised the field at different times in history
c) Microdialogues: In contrast with keynote conferences, topics were presented in parallel sessions, petit comité (max . 50 people) and within a limited time (max 15 minutes), opening debate afterwards.
Campus Gutenberg is a joint effort by a research and Communication institution (Observatory for Scientific Communication at UPF), professional training (IDEC through the Master for Scientific and Environmental Communication) and a private donor, with a sound track in the regular support and promotion of scientific Communications activities (Obra Social La Caixa). The fact that all 3 institutions have a solid previous track of work in the field which continues over time, the great success of the event and the confirmation that such open agora represent a strong demand from the whole community guarantee that the Campus will continue its life.