• Parallel Session B-4
  • Co-design
  • Presentation

Government Policy and Science Centres

Wednesday 15 Nov 2017
7F Uranus

Session Concept:
Governments throughout the world place great emphasis on the development of science and technology, recognising its importance to not only economic success but also the health and wellbeing of citizens. They invest millions of dollars in science and technology - but not necessarily in science centres and museums. We believe that our centres play a critical role in engaging with people of all ages and backgrounds to help them understand better the process of science and some of the complexities and consequences of a world that is increasingly being shaped by such rapid developments in technology. Different governments in different continents have different approaches to science policy. In this session, we will explore science and government policy in Portugal, Brazil and South Africa – and take a look at what it means for science centres in those countries.
(Session Format: Initial Brief Presentations followed by Q&A)


Linda Conlon
Immediate Chair, ASTC/Chief Executive, International Centre for Life
United Kingdom


Rosalia Vargas
President, Ciencia Viva – Pavilion of Knowledge
Portugal is seeing some of Europe’s most prolific growth in the Science Centres’ movement, with centres appearing all over the country at the rate of almost one per year. They can be found in factories, churches, even monasteries, all housed in buildings of different styles and ages. Central government support comes mainly in the form of human resources, particularly through teachers' secondments. Its political support is also key in raising the national awareness of the importance of science centres as platforms for scientific citizenship and public participation.
Luisa Massarani
Director -Researcher and Science Communicator, RedPOP/ Museum of Life-House of Oswaldo Cruz-Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
For a decade, Brazil pushed for a policy on informal science. Part of this was to increase the number of visitors to science centres. Will the country's recent cuts and restrictions in the science sector impact on the success of this policy?
Livhuwani Masevhe
Department of Science and Technology
South Africa